Morni Wildlife (Insects): Indian Tortoiseshell

October 31, 2014

Indian Tortoiseshell  (Aglais caschmirensis) is a colourful, medium-sized butterfly (wingspan of about 2 inches) that has reddish-orange wings with prominent black and yellow, high contrast ‘zebra’ markings on the forewings and a border of blue-spots on the edges. Its larvae feeds on nettle (urtica).

It occurs in the Himalayas from 1000 to 4000 metres.

It is difficult to spot when its wings are closed because of its perfect ‘woody’ camouflage. The wings may be flicked open to flash the bright colours to scare off a bird.

It can be spotted on open ground with wings open when the temperature is cooler. The wings are kept closed under warm conditions.

It feeds on the nectar of wild and cultivated plants.

This specimen was photographed at Karoh Peak which at 1467 metres is the highest peak of Morni-Tipra Hills.

Small-tortoiseshell Butterfly, Karoh Peak, Morni-Tipra Hills (September 2014)

Indian Tortoiseshell Butterfly, Karoh Peak, Morni-Tipra Hills (September 2014)

Filed in: Insects

About the Author ()

An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

Comments (1)

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  1. atul says:

    Really appreciate your love and passion for the wild !

    Is it the Aglais Caschmirensis or Aglais Uricae which is the national insect of Denmark ?

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