Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baron (Euthalia aconthea)

Family : Nymphalidae
Genus : Euthalia
Species : Euthalia aconthea
Wingspan of adult butterfly : 70-75 mm
Larval food plant : Mangifera indica

Location : Divulapitiya, Western province, Sri Lanka

Baron : Male
Baron, a member of family Nymphalidae, is a common butterfly in the observed location. Caterpillar of Baron butterfly is well known because of the amazing camouflaged nature. Larval food plant is known as mango trees (mangifera indica). Baron butterfly can be often seen in areas where the host plant (Mango trees) is abundant.

Baron : Upperside of the Female butterfly
The male and female butterflies have distinct wing patterns. The female butterfly has prominent white spots which are clearly visible on both upperside and underside. Male butterflies are having more greenish color than the females and the white spots are almost absent. 

Baron: Female underside view

Both male and female butterflies feed on damp soil to extract minerals and also on overripe fruits, bird droppings etc. Baron butterfly has a fast flight and usually prefers low heights. It is quite difficult to photograph these butterflies because of the high alert nature. However, there is a good chance of success in taking the close-up photographs when the Baron butterfly is settled on leafs or ground for basking.  

Underside of the Baron butterfly: Female
The tip of the antennae is reddish orange color while the thorax and abdomen is dark brown in male butterflies. Female butterfly has paler ground color than the male butterfly.

Baron butterfly : Female
Eggs of Baron butterfly can be usually found on the underside of immature to mature leaves. From second instar onward, the yellowish white dorsal stripe closely resembles primary vein of the leaf of host plant. Therefore the caterpillar is well camouflaged and is very difficult to spot. 

Baron female butterfly feeding on king-coconut

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