Butterflies of the
Common Red Forester
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - LETHINA
West Bengal, India
© Adrian Hoskins
Lethe is composed of 112 species, most of which are found in
temperate forests in Asia, although there is one species endemic to
Sulawesi, another endemic to Java. Several of the species are very
localised, being confined to the forests of particular mountains,
but others are widespread. The commonest and most widely distributed
species is rohria, which is found from
Afghanistan to China, and south to Java, Bali and Lombok.
Lethe species typically have sombre
earthy brown uppersides, although a few such as
confusa have prominent white diagonal
bands on their forewings; while others such as
sinorix have a series of dark ocelli on the hindwings, set
within a band of suffused orange. The undersides are usually more
strongly marked than the upper surface, and the hindwings feature a
series of 7 prominent ocelli, of which the first ( uppermost ) and
fifth are usually the largest.
Lethe mekara occurs in north-east
India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Tibet,
Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.
This species is found in forested
habitats, at altitudes between about 300-1000m.
The larval foodplant is the bamboo
Phyllostachis ( Poaceae ).
Males settle on rocks or bare earth
to imbibe mineralised moisture. They roost in crevices overnight or in
overcast or rainy conditions.