Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Common Leopard
Phalanta phalantha  DRURY, 1773
subfamily - HELICONIINAE
Phalanta phalantha  Kalejnada, West Sikkim, India  Adrian Hoskins
The genus Phalanta comprises of 6 species, popularly known as Leopards.
There are 2 species in the Oriental region - alcippe, and phalantha.
Phalanta phalantha is the commonest and most widespread member of the genus. It is distributed from s.w. Arabia, eastward from India to China and Japan, and south to the Philippines, most of the south-east Asian islands, and northern Australia. It also occurs across sub-Saharan Africa from Gambia to Ethiopia, and south to South Africa and Madagascar.
This is primarily a butterfly of Acacia thorn scrub and savannah / woodland habitats, but can also be found in clearings within tropical and subtropical rainforest. It's migratory nature also takes it to coastal grasslands, city parks, gardens and many other habitats. It can be found at altitudes from sea level to at least 1500m.
The larvae feed on several genera of Flacourtiaceae including Aberia, Dovyalis, Flacourtia, Oncoba, Scolopia, Trimeria and Xylosma. Other less commonly used foodplants include Ixora ( Rubiaceae ), Gymnosporia, Maytenus ( Celastraceae ), Petalostigma ( Euphorbiaceae ), Smilax ( Smilacaceae ), Viola ( Violaceae ), and Salix ( Salicaceae ).
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are usually seen in two's and three's in fairly open areas. Males sometimes imbibe moisture from damp sand along riverbanks, but are more strongly attracted to patches of urine, and to dung.

Phalanta phalantha Bundala, Sri Lanka  Adrian Hoskins



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