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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Dark-brand Bush Brown
Mycalesis mineus  LINNAEUS, 1758
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - MYCALESINA

Mycalesis mineus  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
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 lines.
Mycalesis mineus is found over most of the Oriental region including in India, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Korea, West Malaysia, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, Kalimantan, Sumatra and Sulawesi.
It produces wet season, dry season and intermediate forms. The wet season form is illustrated. The dry season morph is much paler, more uniform in colour, and has the whole wing surface covered in fine dark striations. Additionally the ocelli are much reduced in size, and the median line is much thinner. The intermediate morph which occurs in the seasonal transition is as might be expected, intermediate in appearance between with wet season and dry season varieties.
Habitats
This is a lowland species, found in open areas of primary and secondary forest, including along riverbanks, roadsides, railway tracks, clearings, gardens and other grassy places.
Lifecycle
The egg is spherical, pure white in colour and glossy. It is laid singly on blades of grass.
The fully grown larva is quite plump for a Satyrine, and is a drab brownish colour, minutely dotted with dark brown. It is slightly hairy, and has a pair of short pinkish caudal prongs. The thorax narrows considerably to produce a narrow "neck". The head is dull brown, covered in very short bristles, and adorned with a pair of short thorn-like horns. The larva feeds nocturnally on various bamboo-like grasses including Microstegium, Pogonatherum, Thysanolaena and Oryza ( Poaceae ).
The chrysalis is of the usual plump Satyrine shape, pale green, unmarked except for a few black dots around the edge of the wing cases, and is suspended by a stout cremaster from a stem or the underside of a leaf in the vicinity of the foodplants.
Adult behaviour
The butterflies are active mainly in overcast conditions. The flight is slow, bobbing and erratic, as is typical of Satyrines.
 

 

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