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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Common Red Forester
Lethe mekara  MOORE, 1858
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - LETHINA
Lethe mekara  West Bengal, India Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The genus 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.
Habitats
This species is found in forested habitats, at altitudes between about 300-1000m.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplant is the bamboo Phyllostachis ( Poaceae ).
Adult behaviour

Males settle on rocks or bare earth to imbibe mineralised moisture. They roost in crevices overnight or in overcast or rainy conditions.

 

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