Monday, November 19, 2012

Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana)

Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Junonia
Species: J. almana
Wingspan: 54-62 mm

Local host plant: Ruellia tuberosa (Acanthaceae)
Location: Divulapitiya, Sri Lanka
Camera : Nikon D3100 with 18-55 mm lens

Peacock Pansy

Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana) belongs to family Nymphalidae and can be commonly found throughout the year. The adult butterfly is known to have two distinct forms for wet and dry seasons. The wet season form butterfly has an additional eyespot and lines which shows distinct variation from its' dry season form. 

The distinct eyespot used to identify the dry and wet season forms is shown in red circle.

The prominent eyespot on hind wing is used as a protective method to scare predators. 

It usually prefers to be in open wings when resting on perches and leaf blades. Peacock Pansy is a very alerted butterfly and it closes the wings when threatened. As per my observation, it was hiding the prominent eyespot on hind wing when it's ready to fly.

Head, thorax and abdomen shows pale orange/ brown color. Upperside of Peacock Pansy butterfly is very colorful with distinct eyespots on fore wing and hind wing. On fore wing, there are four costal bars, three of which are filled with dark brown/ purple shades. There is a prominent eyespot on the hind wing similar to a peacock eye. Underside wings are paler than upperside and the costal bars are showing dark outline only.

Peacock pansy: Head region

Underside view of Peacock Pansy
Peacock Pansy butterfly can be commonly seen in open habitats, visiting the flower bushes, with several butterflies of same species around. It has a quite fast flight with gliding movement, similar to Grey Pansy.

Peacock Pansy: Survivor

Peacock Pansy visiting Ata pethiya flower

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