Butterflies of the
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - KALLIMINI
© Adrian Hoskins
Indo-Australian genera Doleschallia and
Kallima, and the African genera
and Kallimoides are collectively known
as Dead Leaf butterflies. They are characterised by having a
produced apex, and the hw tornus extended to form a short tail. The
resulting shape, together with the cryptic dead-leaf colouration
bears a remarkable resemblance to a dead fallen leaf, complete with
a 'midrib', and markings resembling patches of mould and leaf galls.
Doleschallia comprises about 8
described species, although the status of some of these is
questionable, some authors considering that at least 4 of them are
just subspecies of bisaltide.
sexes are very similar, and on the upperside are orange-brown,
except for the subapical area which is blackish.
occurs in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, West Malaysia,
Sumatra, Borneo, Palawan, Sulawesi and north-eastern Australia.
This species breeds in primary and secondary rainforest at altitudes
The fully grown
caterpillar is black, adorned with short whorled spines. It
has a series of broken, broad white stripes along the back, and a
pair of thin broken off-white lines below the spiracles. The
abdominal segments each carry a large red tubercle below each
spiracle. The head is steely blue. It feeds gregariously on plants
Artocarpus ( jack fruit ),
Pseuderanthemum, Calycanthus, and
caterpillars are parasitised by Chalcid wasps, which emerge after
the larvae has pupated.
Doleschallia bisaltide ©
butterflies have a strong, direct and very rapid flight. They are
usually encountered singly in glades and small clearings, or along
imbibe moisture from damp sand and rocks on riverbanks and roadsides.
If disturbed they fly up rapidly but re-settle nearby on walls or tree
trunks, assuming a downward-facing posture, with wings closed.