Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - VAGRANTINI
© David Fischer
Phalanta comprises of 6 species, popularly known as Leopards.
Phalanta phalantha is the commonest and
most widespread member of the genus. It is distributed from s.w.
Arabia, eastward from India to China and Japan, and south to the
Philippines, most of the south-east Asian islands, and northern
Australia. It also occurs across sub-Saharan Africa from Gambia to
Ethiopia, and south to South Africa and Madagascar
Australia Phalanta phalantha is found
only in Northern Territory.
primarily a butterfly of Acacia thorn
scrub and savannah / woodland habitats.
The egg is yellow and is laid singly on shoots or stems of the
In Australia the caterpillars feed exclusively on
). Elsewhere in its range many other plants are used
( Flacourtiaceae ),
Ixora ( Rubiaceae ),
Maytenus ( Celastraceae ),
Petalostigma ( Euphorbiaceae ),
Smilax ( Smilacaceae ),
Viola ( Violaceae ), and
Salix ( Salicaceae ).
The butterflies are usually seen in
two's and three's in fairly open areas. Males sometimes imbibe
moisture from damp sand along riverbanks, but are more strongly
attracted to patches of urine, and to dung.