Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - CHARAXINAE
Tribe - CHARAXINI
© Tony Hoare
There are 24 species in the genus Polyura,
most of which are found in the Oriental region, although one species
posidonius is restricted to Tibet and
west China; 6 or 7 are endemic to various islands, e.g.
andrewsi from Christmas Island and
caphontis from Fiji; and one,
pyrrhus reaches Queensland in
The butterflies are
characterised by their distinctive wing shape with twin tails on the
hindwings, a feature strongly reminiscent of the African
Charaxes. Most have dark brown
uppersides with bands of dazzling creamy white which vary in size
and shape from one species to another. These bands are repeated on
the underside, usually in a beautiful shade of pale green. In a few
species such as narcaeus and
dolon the underside is almost entirely
Polyura narcaeus is found in northeast
India, Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China and Vietnam.
© Andrew Neild
To be completed.
Males are often seen
imbibing mineralised moisture from damp sand, gravel, or road
surfaces. It is common to find 2 or 3 males of mixed
Polyura species aggregating on the
ground, feeding avidly at dung. When feeding they are almost oblivious
of humans. If deliberately disturbed however they fly up to settle on
tree foliage nearby, and return as soon as they sense danger has
passed. The flight is very rapid and powerful.