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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Suffused Double-banded Plum Judy
Abisara bifasciata  MOORE, 1877

Family - RIODINIDAE

subfamily - RIODININAE

Tribe -

Abisara bifasciata  Manas, Assam, India Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The genus 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 Madagascar.
Most 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 burnii and 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.
Habitats
In common 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.
Lifecycle
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.
Adult behaviour
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 jerky movements.
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.

 

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