Butterflies of the
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - JUNONIINI
Mahanada Forest, Siliguri, West Bengal, India
There is a great deal of confusion among
entomologists regarding the genera Junonia
and Precis. The two genera are very
similar, but the genitalia differ consistently, as do the larval
foodplants, which are chiefly Lamiaceae in the solely African genus
Precis, and Acanthaceae in
Junonia, which are more widely
distributed, and includes the Pansy butterflies of Africa, the
Buckeyes of Central America and the USA, and the Soldiers and
Commodores of the Oriental and Australian regions.
Using the above
definitions, Junonia comprises about 33
species, of which 11 occur in the Oriental region. Of these, 6 are
found on the Indian subcontinent: iphita,
atlites is found in
India, Nepal, Thailand, West Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi.
This species is
found in disturbed areas including forest clearings, riverbanks,
roadsides and the margins of agricultural land, at elevations
between sea level and about 1000m.
The eggs are pale green with vertical ribs. They
are laid singly either on the foodplant or on nearby plant material.
larvae feed on a wide range of plants including
( Acanthaceae ),
Alternanthera ( Amaranthaceae ), and
Lindernia ( Linderniaceae ). The chrysalis is brown with
tubercles along the back and sides.
Both sexes are low
flying and spend long periods basking on herbage or on the ground.