Butterflies of the
Chinese Bush Brown
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
dry season form, Chilapata, West Bengal, India©
Mycalesis is one of the largest
Satyrine genera, comprising of 88 known species, of which 2 have yet
to be given scientific names. The genus is confined to the Oriental
and Australian regions. They are instantly recognisable as a group,
all being some shade of brown on both wing surfaces, and marked with
a series of conspicuous ocelli, and a single straight median line
across the underside of both wings. Many of the species are very
similar, but can usually be distinguished from each other by close
examination of the configuration of the ocelli and submarginal
Mycalesis gotama is found in north-east
India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, West Malaysia,
south China, Taiwan and Japan.
species is found in rainforest and deciduous forest, usually in
small glades or along logging roads. It occurs at elevations between
sea level and about 600m.
The larva is
greenish or brownish in colour, with thin dorsal and lateral
stripes. It feeds nocturnally on bamboo
Bambusa, and on various grasses including
Setaria, Isachne and
butterflies tend to be encountered in small glades or along narrow
trails at spots where dappled sunlight penetrates to ground level.
They fly infrequently and keep low to the ground, settling on dead
leaves beneath bushes. The flight is slow, bobbing and erratic, as
is typical of Satyrines.
gotama dry season
form, Chilapata, West Bengal, India
© Adrian Hoskins