Indian Red Admiral
Vanessa indica nubicola, Fruhstorfer

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Indian Red Admiral

Wingspan 55-65mm. A medium sized dark gray brown butterfly with a reddish orange and white markings. The underside has a blotched appearance with many shades and patterns of brown and gray.

Indian Red Admiral

Similar species

Status, distribution and habitat
The Indian Red Admiral is confined to elevations above 3000 feet and is found along edges of grasslands and forests, in open areas with secondary vegetation, the edges of tea fields and ravines. It is frequently seen at Horton Plains and the Nuwara Eliya golf course.

This is an active butterfly that may be seen day after day in the same location. In the early morning hours, when the temperatures can be quite cool (65F), it sits on sun-warmed concrete fence posts or slabs and basks in the sun. It rests with its wings open to varying degrees and has the habit of opening and closing them frequently. It has a strong but somewhat erratic flight. The male often flies about within its territory to search for females or adopt the strategy of waiting for them to come by. Once a potential mate or another intruding male is suspected, it gives chase. The squabbling of males ends in the interloper or the weaker one leaving the area. In the case of females, courtship may follow. The male often perches on human bystanders in the vicinity. 

Early stages
The larva feeds on nettles. It weaves the leaves together to form loosely knit nest and stay hidden within it.

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