Butterflies of the
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Symphaedra ) nais, male,
© Haraprasan Nayak
There are about 55 species in
the genus Euthalia, divided into
several sub-groups with differing adult characteristics.
aconthea group are sexually dimorphic - their males are
typically dark brown, and several of them have a wide band of blue
or green across the outer half of the hindwings. Their females are
larger, paler, and in some species are beautifully patterned with
greyish steaks and chevrons. The lubentina
group are also sexually dimorphic, the males being chocolate brown
above, with a deep metallic green sheen, and a series of red spots
near the apex of the hindwing. Their females are similar, but have
broad white bands and spots on the forewings.
group consists of a single species- nais,
which differs considerably in appearance from any member of the
other groups, and is not sexually dimorphic. For these reasons some
taxonomists place it in a separate genus
Symphaedra. In this treatment I include it as a "subgenus" of
The butterfly is found only in
India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
This species is found in
disturbed areas within forested habitats, at altitudes between sea
level and about 800m.
The larval foodplants include Diospyros
( Ebenaceae ) and Shorea (
Males commonly settle on the
ground to imbibe mineralised moisture from the soil, or from fallen
branches, dead leaves and other decomposing vegetation. When feeding
they hold their wings either outspread, half open, or erect, depending
on ambient temperatures.