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Tawny Coster | by Ajith (അജിത്ത്)
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Tawny Coster

The Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore) is a small leathery winged butterfly which is common in grassland and scrub habitats. It belongs to the Nymphalidae or brush-footed butterfly family. It has a weak fluttery flight. It is avoided by most insect predators. This species and the Yellow Coster Acraea issoria are the only two Indian representatives of the predominantly African tribe Acraeini.

 

Distribution

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The butterfly is found in India and Sri Lanka. It is common all the year round and is equally at home in forest clearings and open country. Though mainly seen at low elevations it has been recorded at heights of up to 7,000 feet (2,100 m) in south India and sometimes in the North.

 

Habitat

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This is a butterfly of the hills as well as the plains. It is plentiful in the pre-monsoon and monsoon period and becomes scarce later on.

 

Habits

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The butterfly exudes an oily and smelly yellow liquid when handled and is unpalatable to birds and most insects. They are well protected and have a slow and weak flight, frequently visiting flowers and are easily netted. There are no mimics in India

 

Life cycle

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The butterfly breeds on plants of the family Loganiaceae and species of Passiflora many of which contain toxins that are sequestered by the caterpillars.

 

Spotted From

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A river side in Payyanur, Kerala , India

  

-- Photo Details --

Used LightZone for converting to JPG. Adjusted Brightness , Contrast,Boarder in GIMP.

Camera ; Nikon D40X

Lens : Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro

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Taken on November 27, 2008