Friends in My Garden- 53

Blue Mormon

On Ixora flowers

Blue Mormon butterfly (Papilio polymnestor) belongs to the group of Swallowtail butterflies and is endemic to South India and Sri Lanka. They are fairly large and  seen throughout the year.

I have seen the butterfly attracted to Ixora and Pagoda flowers in my garden for feeding, as is evident in these pictures. Hibiscus and Jasmine also are preferred food source. But the host plant for the larvae is Citrus plant.

The life cycle is similar to other swallowtails, with the caterpillar passing through five instars before the metamorphosis. If interested, you can view my posts on Common Mormon and Lime butterfly to see some stages of life cycle.

Blue Mormon is the State butterfly of the Indian state of Maharashtra.




On Pagoda flowers



Friends in My Garden- 36

A Beautiful Butterfly!

Sahyadri Yeoman

Here again, with a beautiful butterfly, Sahyadri Yeoman.

That is its name, scientifically known as Cirrochroa thais. They are plenty during the flowering seasons and mainly feed on nectar of Compositae flowers. They fly closer to the ground level and sit on the flower long enough to click a picture or two.

Larvae are spiny. Here you can see one hanging in air on a thread-like structure, almost like the silken thread of a cobweb. It was coming down from the overhanging branches of a tree.

The pupa also is spiny and gets attached to nooks and crevices.

Emerging from pupa
Did you notice, she is my Blog cover page girl! 🙂

Friends in My Garden- 32

Giant Redeye

Giant redeye butterfly

Its a butterfly; a resident of my garden.

Giant redeye butterflies (Gangara thyrsis) are dark chocolate brown in colour, with yellowish and reddish patches on the forewings. This is not very much visible in resting position.

The larvae look funny at certain stage, with cottony, thread-like outgrowths. If disturbed they may shed these waxy threads. They are voracious eaters of palm fronds and destroy my ornamental palm plants in no time!

Caterpillar pastes together the edges of the palm leaves to make a pupa (chrysalis) and this is a sort of waterproof chamber.

Pupa (Chrysalis)
After emerging from pupa… just flew on to the next plant

Friends in My Garden- 30

Grass Demon

Grass demon butterfly

Another misnomer for a cute little butterfly. This black and white beauty is a regular visitor of my garden. The wing colouration, I think, helps it sit undetected in the dappled light on bushes.

The Grass Demon (Udaspes folus) is a small butterfly found in India that belongs to the Skippers, or Hesperiidae family. It is regarded as an occasional pest of ginger and turmeric.

Being a bold one, my presence did not disturb it at all and went on with feeding nectar from Periwinkle flowers. This gave me ample opportunity  to click a few shots of it’s feeding stages.

Probosis stretched


Friends in My Garden- 23

Tailed Palmfly

Tailed palmfly

Tailed palmfly (Elymnias caudata) is a dweller of my garden and is seen in pairs during breeding season.  They appear brown while resting but when they take off, bright orange colour of the upper side of the hind wings is displayed.

As the name suggests, this butterfly prefers palm trees as host plant for the young ones. They are real gluttons and many times destroy the ornamental palm trees in my garden.

There is a tail-like projection on vein 4 of the hind wing that distinguishes these from Common palmfly.

These are pictured in my garden.

The darker one is the male
Caterpillar- on the underside of a palm leaf
Emerging from pupa

Friends in My Garden- 21

Tailed Jay

A Tailed Jay on white Ixora

A lively butterfly, Tailed jay (Graphium agamemnon) is plentiful around my garden. Strong and restless fliers, they flutter their wings constantly even when at flowers. This makes it difficult to photograph them; I have managed a few shots though…

The butterflies generally fly among the tree-tops but descend to ground level in search of flowers or host plants.

The tailed jay, is a predominantly green and black tropical butterfly that belongs to the swallowtail family. It is a common, non-threatened species.

These pictures are captured in my garden at different times. The last picture is that of the butterfly at rest, a very uncommon sight!



Resting….may be old-age

Friends in My Garden- 17

Common Baron Butterfly

Common Baron Butterfly

A resident of India and South East Asia, Common Baron (Euthalia aconthea) is a lovely brown butterfly with dimorphism, lending the female adults to be larger and lightly warm-colored compared to its male counterpart.

They visit flowers or ripened fruits, either still on the plant or fallen down. They frequent my backyard when the guava fruits ripen and enjoy the fruits that are half-eaten by the squirrels. I have often seen two or three butterflies simultaneously feeding on the same fruit.

Though a rapid flyer, Baron can often be seen basking in sunlit spots with its wings opened flat.

On my Guava tree
Feeding on ripe Guava
Greenish probosis is visible

Friends in My Garden- 4

Blue Tiger Butterfly

Blue tiger butterfly- on periwinkle flower

Blue tiger….may be a name least suited for a delicate butterfly. But that is how zoologists have named this beautiful one! Frequenting my garden they are so delightful, moving from flower to flower, adding more colour to the surroundings.

Butterflies start their life as  less appreciated caterpillars and then morph into the elegant beauties that everyone likes.

The Blue tiger butterfly (Tirumala limniace) is commonly found in India and belongs to the group of the brush-footed butterfly family.

These pictures are captured in my garden.

Relishing nectar from sandalwood flowers
Double delight- from my backyard