Monday, January 18, 2016

Common Castor or Ariadne Merione

Common Castor or Ariadne Merione

Sighted In: Chirakkadavu, Ponkunnam, Kottayam Dist, Kerala, India. | Date: 19/01/2016
Camera Nikon D800e / Lens Nikon 105 mm f 2.8G 

The Common Castor (Ariadne merione) is an orange butterfly with brown lines whose larvae feed almost exclusively on Castor Ricinus communis. It is similar in appearance to Ariadne ariadne, the Angled Castor. This species is found in south-eastern Asia. Their wingspan ranges between 30–35 mm. Like others in the Nymphalidae family, their front two legs are small and unused, effectively making them four-legged. These smaller appendages are covered with long hairs, giving them the characteristic brush look. Male: Upper side brownish ochraceous. Fore and hind wings crossed by slender, somewhat obscure, very sinuous or zigzag dark basal, two subbasal and two discal lines disposed in pairs, followed by a single, sometimes double, postdiscal and a single subterminal slender line. All these lines more or less interrupted anteriorly on the hind wing, which has a smooth unmarked uniform appearance from costa to subcostal vein and vein 5. On the fore wing there is in addition a series of obscure spots between the postdiscal and subterminal markings, arid a small white subcostal spot before the apex.

Underside much as in Ariadne ariadne, but the transverse chestnut bands broader, more diffuse. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen brownish ochraceous. Sex-mark on the underside of the fore wing as in A. ariadne no sex-mark on upper side of hind wing;

Female: Similar; but on the upperside the transverse lines broader, more diffuse, with a greater tendency to form bands; the postdiscal line always double, forming a band traversed by a series of dark ochraceous spots in the interspaces; these lines and bands continuous, not interrupted anteriorly on the hind wing as they are in the male. Underside: except for the sex-mark, as in the male.

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