Blue Moon Butterfly

Great Eggfly20150829_144842

Blue moon butterfly also known as Great eggfly – Hypolimnas bolina, scientific name, is found in Madgascar, south east Asia, South Pacific Islands, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.  The one seen in Asia, India, is called Oriental Great Eggfly and that seen in Australia as Australian Great Eggfly.

The interesting points about this are distinct sexual dimorphism and maternal care.

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In the male the upperside of wings is jet black with three pairs of white spots, two on the forewings one on the hindwings.  These spots are surrounded by purple iridiscence.

The upper side of female is brownish black without distinct spots.  The edges of wings bear white markings similar to those seen on Common Indian Crow butterfly.  The purple iridiscence is seen on the markings of forewings.

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The female butterflies before they lay eggs hover over the plant to check for any ants which will eat her eggs.  After selecting a plant without any ants the female lays eggs on the underside of the leaves and guards them.

The bright iridiscence signals the predators that it is not edible.  So the butterfly nicely relaxes with its wings wide spread and enjoys the nectar of the flowers.

 

 

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