Butterflies of the
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - APATURINAE
Rimbi, West Sikkim, India
© Adrian Hoskins
The subfamily Apaturinae is of worldwide
distribution and comprises of several genera of large and powerfully
flying butterflies among which are Apatura,
Mimathyma. Most have dark brown uppersides, banded with
white. The males of most genera reflect an iridescent purple, blue
or turquoise sheen. The Oriental region includes several unusual
genera including the very handsome Sephisa
Courtiers, the enchanting Rohana
Princes, and the strikingly marked Hestina
Hestina consists of 11 species
including several which were formerly included in
Diadema. Most are Batesian mimics of toxic Danaines -
Hestina nama for example is a mimic of
the Chocolate Tiger Parantica sita.
Hestina nama is the most widely
distributed species, being found in north India, Bhutan, Myanmar,
south-west China and Sumatra.
This butterfly inhabits humid
deciduous and evergreen valley forests, at elevations between about
To be completed.
The butterflies are almost always
encountered singly. Males visit damp ground to imbibe moisture. They
are very wary, dashing off at the least disturbance, and have a
remarkable ability to hide out of sight behind boulders!