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Butterflies of Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo
Godart's Jungle Glory
Thaumantis odana  GODART, 1824
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - MORPHINAE
Tribe - AMATHUSIINI
Thaumantis odana, Poring hot springs, Sabah, Borneo  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The deep purple-blue sheen on the upperside wings, and the combination of a large ocellus and a prominent lunule on the underside hindwings are visible characteristics that demonstrate the close relationship this genus has with the Brassolini ( Owl butterflies ) of South America.
The 26 species of Amathusiini occurring on peninsular Malaysia include 3 Thaumantis species - klugius, noureddin and odana. All have a similar pattern on the underside, but differ in the extent of the blue colouration on the upperside. In odana this is confined to a diagonal band of sapphire blue on the forewings; in klugius almost the entire upper surface has a purple-blue iridescence; and noureddin is distinguished by it's more angular apex and the row of suffused orange submarginal lunules on it's forewings.
Thaumantis odana is found in peninsular Malaya, Borneo and Java.
Habitats
This species is found in wet rainforest habitats, usually in association with bamboo thickets, at altitudes between about 100-1600m.
Lifecycle
There does not appear to be any published data regarding the early stages of this species, but the following generalisations apply to the tribe Amathusiini, and are probably applicable :
The eggs are laid in clusters on the foodplants, which according to species may be palms, banana, sugar cane, ginger or other monocotyledons. In the case of odana the regularity with which the species is found in bamboo thickets would appear to indicate that bamboo is the probable foodplant.
The caterpillars are typically cylindrical and covered in fine dense hairs ( setae ). There are tufts of longer hair along the back, and on the thorax. The tail end bears a pair of prominent caudal forks, used to flick droppings away from the feeding site. When young the caterpillars feed gregariously, and if alarmed raise their foreparts to expose a gland from which noxious anti-predator pheromones are disseminated.
The chrysalis of a typical Amathusiine is smooth textured, shaped like a plump banana, and is suspended by the cremaster from woody stems.
Adult behaviour

Jungle Glories are crepuscular in nature, and spend the major part of the day at rest, hiding amongst dead leaves and woody stems beneath bushes in the depths of the rainforest. There they are extremely difficult to spot, as the disruptive pattern and mixture of brown, cream and bluish tones on the underside is the perfect camouflage against the wet leaf litter. If disturbed they suddenly appear before the eyes as a flash of intense deep purplish-blue zig-zagging rapidly just above the surface of the ground, and then just as suddenly disappear again.

 

 

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