Wednesday, 5 August 2015

76. Kallima inachus (The Orange Oakleaf)

Number: 76
Family: Nymphaliidae
Sub-Family: Nymphaliinae
Species: Kallima inachus (Doyère, 1840)
Common name(s): The Orange Oakleaf, The Dead Leaf, The Indian Leaf Butterfly
Photography location: Tam Dao foothills (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

This powerful flier is often seen in dense forests, amongst undergrowth and along stream beds. It is attracted to tree sap and over-ripe fruit, and is also known to mud-puddle.
Much pursued by birds, when in danger the Orange Oakleaf flies erratically, soon dropping down into the foliage and occupying a stationary pose with wings closed, so that the birds are very often quite unable to find them. In such a pose, the butterfly resembles a dried leaf and is perfectly camouflaged.

With wings closed, it closely resembles a dry leaf with dark veins and is a spectacular and commonly cited example of camouflage. 

When the wings are open, the forewing exhibits a black apex, an orange discal band and a deep blue base.

A worn individual

A pristine one

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