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Tawny Coster
  Acraea violae Fabricius, 1807
(Viola)
 
 
     
       
 
Scientific classification
 
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Arthropoda
Class : Insecta
Order : Lepidoptera
Family : Nymphalidae
Subfamily : Heliconiinae
Genus : Acraea
Species : A. terpsicore
   
   
Binomial name
  Acraea terpsicore (Linnaeus, 1758)
   
   
Synonyms
  Acraea violae (Fabricius, 1793)
   
   
Status in Sri Lanka
  Common resident
   
   
Wingspan
  45-55mm
   
   
Host plant
  plants of family Cucurbitaceae such as Pasddiflora, Modecca and on any of the gourds and also plants of family Passifloraceae.
   
   
Nectaring Plants
  flowers of herbaceous plants
   
   
Similar species
 
  • The Common Leopard ♀♂
    (It does not have the rounded wings or the black sub marginal band on the hind wing)
  •    
       
       
     
    free counters
         
    Distribution   
      Found in countries such as, Sri Lanka, Africa to Burma.  
         
    Color/ pattern  
     
         
    Male ♂   Female ♀
    A medium sized reddish brown butterfly with rounded wing apices and rather long wings. It is brightly colored with a remarkable range of colors. The wings are somewhat transparent. The upper side is filled with black spots and small markings. The marginal band of the hind wing on the upper sides is black and has small white spots. The corresponding band on the underside is much wider, but is almost entirely occupied by large white spots.   Dull brown in color and the wings are more transparent than the male.
     
         
    Identification characters of sexes  
      The female posses what appears to be a post- copulatory sphragis (plug) covering the ostium.  
         
    Habitat  
      A common butterfly found throughout the island from sea level to 2000 feet elevation. It is a butterfly of open spaces with lots of sunshine such as, edges of forests and cultivated fields, roadsides, property boundaries with over-grown vegetation, coastal sand dunes and secondary forests. It may be seen throughout the year but is commonest and most abundant during the monsoons.  
         
    Habits  
     

    The search of food and mating occurs slowly and leisurely, with minimal expenditure of energy due to the avoidance of predators.

    It frequently settles on flowers and shows the habit of opening and closing its wings as it nectars on flowers. It does not fly high but remains within a few feet of the ground, circling in and out of clumps of vegetation. They are generally seen flying in the same vicinity in all whether.

    Larvae and pupa are known to be gregarious in wild or cultivated areas. Hence indigenous market gardeners consider them to be pests.

     
         
    Mechanisms to overcome threats  
     
         
    Ovum (Eggs)   Larvae (Caterpillar)
         
         
    Pupa (Chrysalis)   Imago (Winged Adult)
        It defends itself by exuding an unpleasant sticky, oily liquid when captured or handled.
     
         
               
     
     
    Ovum (Eggs)
     
    Size :
     
     
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    Larvae (Caterpillar)
     
    Size :
     
     
    Shape :
     
     
    Color :
    dull red, oily, bristled.
     
    Time duration :
    ?
     
    Season :

     

     
     
     
    Pupa (Chrysalis)
     
    Size :
     
     
    Shape :
     
     
    Color :
    whitish, marked with steely black bars and orange spots.
     
    Time duration :
     
     
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