Sunday, September 25, 2011

Butterflies and Their Larval Host Plants

The subject matter of most of the mails which I receive on this blog is very similar, so I thought If I address some of the most frequently answered questions on the blog, it will save me a lot of effort replying to individual mails. So let us first address some of these questions.

Can you suggest some Nectar plants for my butterfly garden?
Can you name the larval host plants for butterflies found commonly in Kerala?
Could you please tell us the local (Malayalam) names of butterfly food plants?

I found an easy way to answer these questions and forwarded some of the mails to Mr Manoj who is the resident Naturalist in Marari Beach Resort situated at Mararikulam in Alappuzha. Marari Beach Resort has an excellent, well maintained butterfly garden attracting many species of butterflies. Manoj came up with the following list so as to be able to help many who wish to construct a butterfly garden in their own homes and start attracting butterflies.

A Quick Tip

Always arrange your garden in such a way that it has both shady and open areas. Butterflies need shade as much as they need sunlight. Remember butterflies are cold blooded and could not control their body temperature internally. They depend on sunlight for warmth, and when it gets too hot they take shelter in shade to cool off.

Butterfly Nectar Plants

Lantana spp. : Different colour varieties of lantana flowers is necessary. White lantana attracts more swallowtails sp.

Ixora spp. : Different varieties including both traditional and hybrid varieties.

Mussanda frontosa ( Vellila ) is a nectar plant for many butterflies and larval host plant of Commander butterfly.

Jamaiccan Blue spike: Attracts swallow tails and white and yellow butterflies.

Cordia cylendrostycahia : attracts milkweed butterflies massively.

Soapnut Tree: attracts milkweed butterflies and whites and yellows massively.

Crotelaria retusa: attracts milkweed butterflies.

Crotelaria retusa
Crotelaria retusa

Pagoda Plant: attracts skippers, whites, yellows and swallowtails.

Pagoda plant - Clerodendrum paniculatum
Pagoda plant - Clerodendrum paniculatum

Clerodendrum paniculatum
Clerodendrum paniculatum

Clearodendron infortunatum (White variety of pagoda plant ): attracts skippers, whites, yellows and swallowtails.

Clearodendron infortunatum
Clearodendron infortunatum

Cufia: a garden plant attracting many small butterflies.

Butterflies and their Larval Food Plants

Southern Birdwing – Troides minos :- Aristolochia indica (Eswaramooli , Karalakom or Garudakkodi )

Common Rose – Pachilopta aristolochiea  :- Aristolochia indica

Crimson Rose- Pachilopta hector   :- Aristolochia indica

Common Mormon – Papilio polytes  :-  All Citrus specieses ( Narakangal ) Curryleaf plant ( Murraya koenigi )

Blue Mormon – Papilio polymnestor  :-  All Citrus specieses , Curryleaf plant

Lime Butterfly – Papilio demoleus   :- All Citrus specieses ,Curryleaf plant

Common Mime – Chilsa clytia  :-   Cinnamon – Cinnamon zeylanicum  (Karuvappatta ) Cinnamon malabathricum ( Vayana )

Common Blue Bottle – Graphium serpadon  :-  Cinnamon – Cinnamon zeylanicum, Cinnamon malabathricum, Poliyalthia longifoliea ( Arana maram )

Tailed Jay – Graphium agamemnon   :- Poliyalthia longifoliea  , Anona glabera

Chocolate Albatross - Appias lyncida :- Cratava religiousa

Cratava religiousa - Larva Host Plant of Chocolate Albatross Butterfly - Appias lyncida
Cratava religiousa

Grey Count - Tanaecia lepidea : - Melastoma malabathricum

Melastoma malabathricum
Melastoma malabathricum

Psyche – Leptosla nina  :-  Cleo burmani ( Neelakkattukaduk )

Common Gull – Cepora nerissa   :- Crataeva religiosa ( Neermathalam )

Pioneer – Anaphaeis aurota    :- Crataeva religiosa

Common Wanderor – Pareronia  valeria    :- Crataeva religiosa

Common Emigrant – Catopsilia pomana  :-  Cassia fistula ( Kanikkonna )

Mottled Emigrant – Catopsilia pyranthe  :- Cassia fistula

Grass Yellow – Eurema hecabe    :- Cassia fistula

Monkey Puzzle – Rathinda amor :-  Ixora sepecies { Tradional and garden varieties of ixora . ( Thechi )

Lime Blue - Chilades laius    :-All Citrus specieses , Curryleaf plant

Plain Tiger – Danaus chrysippus  :-  Calotripis gigantea ( Earukku ) Indian Blood Flower

Striped Tiger – Danaus genutia  :-  Calotropis gigantea, Indian Blood Flower (Asclepias curasavica )

Calotropis gigantea
Calotropis gigantea

Common Crow –Euploea core  :-  Calotripis gigantea, Indian Blood Flower, Oleander ( Nerium oleander ) Arali

Blue Tiger – Tirumala limniace :-   Vattakkaka volubilis ( Kakkavally) , Asclepias curassavica

Asclepias curassavica
Asclepias curassavica

Glassy Tiger – Parantica aglea :-   Vattakkaka volubilis

Common evening Brown- Melanitis leda :- Hetropogon contortus - is a grass species and other grasses

Common Bush Brown – Mycalesis perseus :- Hetropogon contortus -  and other grasses

Nigger – Orsotrioena medus :- Hetropogon contortus  and other grasses

Common Four ring – Ypthima huebeneri :- Hetropogon contortus - is a grass species and other grasses

Common Five ring – Ypthima baldus :- Hetropogon contortus - is a grass species and other grasses

Common Castor – Ariadne merione :- Common Castor – Ariadne merione ( Avanakku )

Angled Castor - Ariadne ariadne :-  Castor oil plant

Leopard – Phalantha phalantha :-   Flacourtia montana ,F.ramontichi ( Luvi )

Commnon Rustic :- Flacourtia montana ,F.ramontichi

Peacock Pansy – Tunonia almana  :-  Hygrophila ouriculata and other plants from Accanthesi family

Grey Pancy – Tunonia atlites :-  Hygrophila ouriculata and other plants from Accanthesi family

Lemon Pansy – Tunonia lemonia   :- Hygrophila ouriculata and other plants from Accanthesi family

Chocolate Pansy – Precis iphita  :-  Hygrophila ouriculata and other plants from Accanthesi family

Danaid Eggfly – Hypolimnas misippus  :-   Portulaca oleracea ( a small wild plant no common Malayalam names)

Great Eggfly – Hyolimna bolina :-     Portulaca oleracea

Chestnut streaked Sailor- Neptis tumbha :-   Pongamia pinnata ( Pongu or Ungu), Thespesia populnea
( Poovarasu )

Common sailor – Neptis hylas - Helicteres isora :-     Indian screw tree – Valampiri

Commander –Moduza procris : -  Mussanda frontosa ( Vellila ) And Garden variety of Mussanda

Common Baron – Euthalia aconthea  :-  Mangifera indiaca ( Mango tree )

Grass Demon – Udaspes folus :-   Turmeric, Ginger

Brown Awl – Badamia exclamationis  :-  Terminelia belirica ( Thanni )

Common Banded Awl – Hasora choromus   :- Pongamia pinnata

Common Red eye – Matapa aria :-   Bamboos

Dark PlamDart  :- Bamboos

Will try to upload corresponding pictures for the plants so as to facilitate easy identification.


salsu said...

wonderful post. congrats....

Anonymous said...

Thanks , this is what iam trying to find out in the last 6 months. Several websites say other plants that are not found here in India or may be other in the family. But with local names I can easily find and plant in my garden to help these butterflies.

I love U man.

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