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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Great Evening Brown
Melanitis zitenius  HERBST, 1796
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - MELANITINI
Melanitis zitenius, Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, West Sikkim, India   Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The genus Melanitis comprises of 12 species, commonly known as Evening Browns.
All Melanitis species exhibit pronounced seasonal dimorphism. The wet season morphs are strongly variegated and have prominent ocelli. The dry season morphs are highly variable but always have reduced ocelli. Their ground colour varies from grey to light brown or reddish.
Melanitis zitenius is the largest species. The underside tends to be more reddish than either leda or phedima. The dorsal surface is earthy brown. There is a large suffused diagonal splash of orange on the forewing, within which is a large suffused black spot.
This species is found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Bali.
Habitats
This butterfly occurs in rainforest and humid deciduous forest at elevations between 500-2000m.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants do not appear to be recorded, but will be grasses or bamboos ( Poaceae ).
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are normally found singly, when disturbed from their resting places in the forest undergrowth. They fly mainly at dawn, and again in the early part of the evening.

Melanitis zitenius, Naodanala, West Bengal, India   Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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