Family - NYMPHALIDAE
© Haraprasan Nayak
There are 6 species in the
genus Aglais, which some workers now
consider to be a subgenus within Nymphalis.
The Aglais are distinct from
Nymphalis in being somewhat smaller in
wingspan, and with brighter and more contrasty markings, but the
basic wing pattern and colours are very similar.
The most well known and
widespread member of the genus is the Small Tortoiseshell
Aglais urticae, which
occurs across the whole of Europe and most of
temperate Asia, but does not occur south of the Himalayan mountains.
There are 3 species
found in Himalaya.
and rizana are restricted to the
western Himalayas, while the illustrated species
caschmirensis has a wider distribution,
being found across the foothills of the Himalaya from Kashmir to
Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet.
This species is found in the
foothills of the Himalaya, at altitudes between about 1000-4800m.
The larval foodplant is Urtica (
Both sexes feed avidly at the
nectar of wild and cultivated flowers. Early or late in the day when
temperatures are cool they bask on bare ground, or on rocks, with
their wings fully outspread. In very warm conditions they settle on
soil, and hold their wings erect.