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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Dark Judy
Abisara fylla  WESTWOOD, 1851

Family - RIODINIDAE

subfamily - RIODININAE

Tribe -

Abisara fylla West Sikkim, 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 fylla occurs in northern India, Nepal, Bhutan and China.
Habitats
In common with most Abisara species fylla prefers to fly in shade or dappled sunlight rather than in open areas. This species is found in the forested foothills of the Himalayas, at elevations between about 800-2000m.
Lifecycle
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 singly, resting on foliage with the wings outspread. 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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