Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Great Orange-tip
Hebomoia glaucippe  LINNAEUS, 1758
subfamily - PIERINAE
Hebomoia glaucippe, Ultapani, Assam, India  Adrian Hoskins
The genus Hebomoia comprises of just 2 species, which despite similarities in appearance are only distantly related to the Colotis Orange tips of Africa.
Hebomoia glaucippe is distributed from India and Sri Lanka to China and Japan, and south across the Philippine islands to Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Timor. It's close relative leucippe is found east of the Wallace Line, on the Moluccas, Ambon, Serang and Buru.

Hebomoia glaucippe, Ultapani, Assam, India  Adrian Hoskins

Hebomoia glaucippe is primarily a lowland and mid-elevation species, and is adapted to a very wide variety of habitats including rainforests, humid deciduous forests, Acacia thorn scrub and farmland, at elevations between sea level and about 800m.

Hebomoia glaucippe, Ultapani, Assam, India  Adrian Hoskins


The larval foodplants include Crateva, Capparis and Cleome.

Hebomoia glaucippe, Ultapani, Assam, India  Adrian Hoskins

Adult behaviour

Males spend long periods resting on the ground, where their cryptic 'dead-leaf' underside pattern affords them excellent camouflage. Periodically they take flight, patrolling back and forth in search of females. During the heat of midday, they often gather in groups of up to 30 to imbibe moisture from patches of damp or wet ground. Later in the day when temperatures drop they commonly bask on foliage with their wings half open or fully outspread, but at all times remain very alert and difficult to approach.

Both sexes visit flowers frequently, preferring Lantana and other bushy plants. In common with other heavy species such as Swallowtails and Birdwings, the Great Orange-tip when feeding tends to keep it's wings constantly fluttering to support it's weight when nectaring.

Hebomoia glaucippe, Ultapani, Assam, India  Adrian Hoskins


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