Butterflies of the
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Abisara comprises of 13 recognised
species found variously in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan,
Thailand, West Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, southern China, Laos,
Vietnam, the Philippines, Sulawesi and Java. Additionally there are
11 species found in tropical Africa, and also 3 members of a very
closely related genus Saribia found in
Abisara species have a distinctive
stubby or pointed tail on the hindwings, and possess 2 or more
prominent ocelli near the apex of the hindwings. The majority have
an earthy brown ground colour, although some such as
saturata have a maroon or plum hue which has given rise to
the popular name Plum Judy which is sometimes applied to the group
as a whole.
Abisara bifasciata occurs in northern
India, the Andamans and Myanmar.
with most Abisara species
bifasciata prefers to fly in shade or
dappled sunlight rather than in open areas. This species is found in
rainforest at elevations between about 200-800m.
I have no
data regarding bifasciata but the
biology is probably similar to that of other
Abisara species. Typically the eggs are pale green,
dome-shaped and shiny. They are laid singly on the upper surface of
leaves of the foodplants Myrsinaceae. The larvae are cylindrical,
tapering sharply toward the tail and towards the small yellow head.
The pupa is pale green and slug-like, flattened, with a pointed tail
and a blunt head which has a pair of flattened ear-like protrusions.
It is formed on the upper surface of a leaf, and has the appearance
of a small gall or blister.
This species is
usually encountered in two's and three's, resting on foliage with
the wings half open. Both sexes are timid in behaviour, flitting
nervously from leaf to leaf if approached. Females like to settle
high up on bushes, or on the lower branches of trees, where they
bask on foliage with their wings held half open. When perched on
leaves they tend to constantly twist and turn using a series of
Abisara do not nectar at flowers or
imbibe moisture from the ground - from my observations they appear
to obtain most if not all of their sustenance from aphid and psyllid
secretions ( honeydew ) on the upper surface of leaves.