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A beautiful butterfly with a wingspan of 65-85mm. Its underside hind wing is bright yellow with a row of crimson spots along the termen. In the female, the forewing apex is more rounded and the black lines along the veins are much broader. This gives the female a much darker appearance.
|Male Common Jezebel on
Painted Saw Tooth. A very similar species that mimics the Common Jezebel. The band of spots on the underside of the hind wing is rectangular and bright orange, not crimson and dome shaped as in the Common Jezebel. In both sexes, the forewing apex is more pointed and the veins on the upper side are finely marked with black.
Status, distribution and habitat
A very common, widely distributed butterfly from sea level to the highest elevations. It is found everywhere - in cities, villages, cultivated areas, home gardens, forests, just about anywhere which has trees to support the semi-parasitic mistletoe.
A striking butterfly, easily identified on the wing by its bright contrasting colors. It is also a warning to predators that may think of making a meal of it. A poisonous species that flies slowly and leisurely, well aware that its unpalatable qualities do not warrant speed or agility. It flies high up in the canopy in search of suitable mates or plants for egg laying, and in the early morning hours, it descends to nectar on flowers of small shrubs and herbs. Some of the favorite nectaring plants are Stachytarpheta, Lantana, and Sida.
The eggs are laid on the leaves of many species of Dendrophthoe and Scurrula. These are semi-parasitic plants that grow on a wide range of forest and cultivated trees and were formerly grouped under the genus Loranthus.
Usually, ten to twenty eggs are laid at a time in parallel rows on the underside of leaves. The larvae are gregarious and go about their daily activities of eating, resting and molting in a well synchronized manner until pupation. If dislodged, the young larvae are able to remain attached to the leaves using strong silky threads produced by their salivary glands. For the early instars, it is probably a useful adaptation for living in the high canopy where gusty winds are not uncommon. The larvae are avoided by predators, either because of their poisonous and/or distasteful haemolymph. However, they are frequently parasitized by wasps.
Larval host plants are Dendrophthoe falcata and Scurrula parasitica
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