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Butterflies of temperate Asia
Manipur Forester
Lethe violaceopicta  POUJADE, 1884
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe -
Lethe violaceopicta Sichuan, China Tony Hoare
Introduction
The genus Lethe is composed of 112 species, most of which are found in temperate forests in Asia, although there is one species endemic to Sulawesi, another endemic to Java. Several of the species are very localised, being confined to the forests of particular mountains, but others are widespread. The commonest and most widely distributed species is rohria, which is found from Afghanistan to China, and south to Java, Bali and Lombok.
Lethe species typically have sombre earthy brown uppersides, although a few such as europa have prominent white diagonal bands on their forewings; while others such as sinorix have a series of dark ocelli on the hindwings, set within a band of suffused orange. The undersides are usually more strongly marked than the upper surface, and feature a series of 7 prominent submarginal ocelli, of which the first ( uppermost ) and fifth are usually the largest.
All Lethe species have a dense layer of fine bristles on their compound eyes. My observations of various species in Sri Lanka, Borneo and Malaysia indicate that the adults are strongly attracted to wet dung, and spend long periods probing into it. At these times their heads push deep into the dung. It seems possible therefore that the bristles may function in much the same way as a cat's whiskers, acting as tactile sensors to warn the butterfly if their heads get too close to the dung, which would blind them permanently if it stuck to the surface of the eyes.

Lethe violaceopicta is found in Tibet and western China.

Habitats
To be completed.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

To be completed.

 

 

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