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Butterflies of the the Indian subcontinent
Crimson Rose
Atrophaneura hector  LINNAEUS, 1758
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
subfamily - PAPILIONINAE
Tribe - TROIDINI
Atrophaneura hector  Mumbai, India Anand Narkevar
Introduction
The subfamily Papilioninae consists of about 550 species worldwide. These are divided into 4 tribes - Leptocircini ( Jays ), Papilionini ( Swallowtails ), Teinopalpini ( Kaiser-i-Hinds ), and Troidini.
The Troidini includes the Parides Cattlehearts of South America, the Ornithoptera Paradise Birdwings of New Guinea, and the Troides and Trogonoptera Birdwings of tropical Asia, and Atrophaneura.
The various members of the genus Atrophaneura are known as Windmills, Batwings, Club-tails and Roses. Together they total about 45 species. The red body and head are found in almost species.
In most Atrophaneura species the hindwings have spatulate tails and are marked with a single row of prominent red submarginal spots and a large white central patch. The latter is absent however in hector, which also differs in having a double row of red spots.
Atrophaneura are unpalateable to birds, and are mimicked in appearance by several edible species. Papilio polytes for example produces several different female forms or "morphs", including romulus "f. polytes" which is a near perfect double of Atrophaneura hector.
Atrophaneura hector is found across most of India, and in Sri Lanka.
Habitats
This is very common species can be found in numerous habitats including lowland rainforest, semi-deciduous woodlands, beach hinterlands, acacia thickets, farmland, city parks and gardens.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants are Aristolochia and Thottea ( Aristolochiaceae ).
Adult behaviour

Both sexes roam widely, fluttering and gliding gracefully but rapidly across the countryside. They nectar avidly at wild and cultivated flowers, while constantly fluttering their wings to maintain their position.

 

 

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