Morni Wildlife (Insects): Blister Beetle

Mylabris pustulata is a large red-orange beetle, over an inch in length with broad black bands. The neck is long and pronounced. It is a species of the family of ‘blister’ beetles and is found in South Asia. The family of ‘blister’ beetles gets its name from the defensive secretion of a toxic chemical that causes blistering of skin. The bright red-black colouration warns birds of its toxicity. The larvae feed on soft insects like aphids thereby making the beetle beneficial to crops in the early stages. The adults, however, feed on flowers and leaves and are known to damage crops and lower yields.

Blister Beetle-Mylabris pustulata, Jallah road, Morni foothills (August)

Blister Beetle-Mylabris pustulata, Jallah road, Morni foothills (August)

Morni Wildlife (Insects): Lemon Pansy

Lemon Pansy (Junonia lemonias) an active  brown butterfly of the forested Himalayan tracts with prominent peacock eyespot on each wing. It has pale yellow spotting on upper forewing and a number of wavy lines and spots. The markings grow more distinct during the monsoons.

Lemon Pansy Buttterfly, Forest at Burj, Morni foothills, July

Lemon Pansy Buttterfly, Forest at Burj, Morni foothills, July

References:

  1. Butterflies of India, Arun Pratap Singh (2011)

Morni Wildlife (Insects): Common Gull

Common Gull (Cepora nerissa) – a medium-sized butterfly of the dry scrubland, it is found in the Shivaliks upto an elevation of 1200 metres. It is attracted to lantana flowers in Morni and prefers damp sandy patches. Upperwings are white and the upper forewing has has a black terminal border with large white spots. The veins are black and more prominent amongst males.

Common Gull, Chandimandir, Morni foothills (April)

Common Gull, Chandimandir, Morni foothills (April)

 

References:

  1. Butterflies of India, Arun Pratap Singh (2011)

Morni Wildlife (Insects): Common Emigrant

Common Emigrant (Catopsilia pomona)- found in the Himalayas upto a height of 4000 metres. Found in fields, gardens and scrub. Is common in Morni. Wings are a translucent greenish-yellow. Congregations can be seen mud-puddling on wet soil.

Common Emigrant, Chandimandir, Morni-Pinjore foothills (April)

Common Emigrant, Chandimandir, Morni-Pinjore foothills (April)

 

References:

  1. Butterflies of India, Arun Pratap Singh (2011)

Morni Wildlife (Insects): Common Castor

Common Castor (Ariadne merione)- is an orange-brown butterfly with zigzag brown lines running across the upper-wings. It has a wingspan of an inch-and-a-half. The larvae feed on the leaves of the Castor (Erandi) shrub and hence the name.

Common Castor, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni foothills (April)

Common Castor, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni foothills (April)

Morni Wildlife (Insects): Yellow Orange Tip

Yellow Orange Tip (Ixias pyrene) – a small yellow-orange butterfly that is common to the dry thorny scrub/ mixed-deciduous forests of the Shivalik hills. Can be generally spotted around the lantana flowers in the Morni hills. The butterfly prefers damp patches and the lantana infested scrub in the vicinity of the numerous water harvesting dams in the foothills of Morni attracts a lot of Yellow-Orange Tips. The males have a yellow upper fore-wing with a prominent orange band in the apical half enclosed inside a thick black border. The upper hind-wing is yellow with a black border. In females the upper-wings are white tinged with yellow and the orange apical patch is less prominent.

Yellow Orange Tips, Berwala nallah, Morni hills

Yellow Orange Tips, Berwala nallah, Morni hills

Yellow Orange Tip, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni (Photo courtesy Rajesh Pandey) April

Yellow Orange Tip, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni (Photo courtesy Rajesh Pandey) April

Yellow Orange Tip, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni foothills (Photo courtesy Rajesh Pandey)

Yellow Orange Tip, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni foothills (Photo courtesy Rajesh Pandey)

Yellow Orange Tip, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni (Photo courtesy Rajesh Pandey)

Yellow Orange Tip, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni (Photo courtesy Rajesh Pandey)

References:

  1. Butterflies of India, Arun Pratap Singh (2011)

Morni Wildlife (Insects): Indian Cabbage White

Indian Cabbage White (Pieris canidia)- a common black-and-white, Himalayan butterfly that migrates to the hills in summers only to return to the plains with onset of winters. Wings are white with upper fore-wings having black apical margins. Males have a single black spot on the fore-wing while the females have two. It is seen visiting lantana flowers and damp patches in Morni.

Indian Cabbage  White, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni  foothills (April)

Indian Cabbage White, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni foothills (April)

Indian Cabbage  White, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni (April)

Indian Cabbage White, Chandimandir, Pinjore-Morni (April)

 

References:

  1. Butterflies of India, Arun Pratap Singh (2011)

 

Morni Wildlife (Insects): Painted Lady

Painted LadyVanessa Cardui (Linnaeus)– found in the Himalayas upto 4500 metres,  prefers forest openings and meadows in high mountains. It feeds on rotting flowers and fruit.

Painted Lady, water harvesting dam at Muwas, Morni hills

Painted Lady, water harvesting dam at Muwas, Morni hills

Painted Lady, Muwas

Painted Lady, Muwas