Saturday, April 24, 2010

Glassy Tiger

A Glassy Tiger (Parantica aglea) photographed in Anuradhapura

The Glassy Tiger belongs to the Danaid group of butterflies, which includes crows and Tigers. It's habitat includes India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Burma. Two subspecies have been identified but neither of them are consistent in markings or habitat. More info and images inside.

 
A pair of Glassy Tigers (Parantica aglea) photographed in Anuradhapura

The male Glassy Tiger has scent patches on the hind wing. The pouch on vein 1 is larger than the pouch on vein 2 and both pouches are  more visible on the underside than on the upper side. It is a very common butterfly in Sri Lanka and can be found up to an elevation of 5000 feet. It is found all over the island except for the north where it is uncommon. 

A Glassy Tiger (Parantica aglea) photographed in Anuradhapura

The flight of the Glassy Tiger is very weak and it flaps its wings a lot during flight. it spends most of its time within 5-10 feet of the ground and rarely visits the canopy.  It is often found in the company of other males in the Danaid family, when they gather on plants. The Glassy Tiger frequently visits flowers in the undergrowth for nectar and the male occasionally settles on wet soil.  

A Glassy Tiger (Parantica aglea) photographed in Anuradhapura

The Glassy Tiger mimics an unpalatable poisonous species of butterfly and is avoided by birds and lizards. It also has tough leathery skin which helps it survive the occasional attack. When it is attached, it fakes death and oozes a nauseating liquid which makes it smell and taste awful. It also has the ability to recover from an attack very quickly. 

A Glassy Tiger (Parantica aglea) photographed in Anuradhapura

Another shot of this butterfly can be found here http://devwijewardane.blogspot.com/2009/11/glassy-tiger.html

These images were captured with a Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens, in Anuradhapura.





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