Saturday, January 09, 2010

Leopard Lacewing Butterfly

Leopard Lacewing Buttefly - Female upper 

Female - wing pattern, upper surface

The Leopard Lacewing Butterfly, which is scientifically known as Cethosia cyane, ranges from India, throughout Southeast Asia. This species exhibits a strong sexual diamorphism, with the females featuring wing patterns with a gray or white background, whereas the upper surfaces of the males are a bright orange, yellow, or red. Both sexes are sprinkled with blackish-blue spots and lining veins.

Leopard Lacewing Buttefly - Male upper 

Male - wing pattern, upper surface

The caterpillars of the lacewing butterflies feed on the leaves of the Passion Flower Plant, of the genus Passiflora. The ingestion of the defensive phyto-chemicals of the plant  renders the larvae and adult butterflies  with a defensive mechanism that makes them unpalatable to potential predators. The adults also display a distinct warning coloration that advertises this fact. When handled, these tropical lepidopterans often exude a noxious odour generated from the ingested passion vine organic compounds.

Leopard Lacewing Buttefly - Male lower 

Male - wing patterns, lower surface


  1. :)
    good read and amazing pics

  2. Great work, your text really helps us appreciate the species and their uniqueness.
    Thanks Santosh.


  3. Anonymous9/1/10 19:36

    Great Photos. Did you click them?

  4. Anonymous9/1/10 19:37

    Oh yeah! Just saw your name there!

  5. Very pretty ... great shots

  6. awesome photos.. Very well taken

  7. wow- these are gorgeous pics santa...

  8. Like the color combination! looks gorgeous!well captured Santosh!

  9. Mind boggling colors... esp the first pic with red flowers is an awesome combination...

  10. extremely beautiful both - the butterfly and the way you captured them

  11. Gorgeous shots! I superlove butterflies! :) Following ya! On network blogs too! =)