Saturday, April 14, 2012

Leopard Lacewing

Cethosia cyane (Male, Top)
It's not too hard to figure out why the Leopard Lacewing has its name. The males of the species sport colorful orange wings with spotted patterns and a lace-like border around the edges. While the topside is vibrant, the undersides of the wings are even more boldly patterned with dots and bars.

Females maintain the same pattern as the males, but their colors are significantly more muted. Instead of bright yellows and oranges they have dull grays and whites.

Caterpillars are also brightly colored, and remind me a lot of Coral Snakes. They have bars of red, black, and yellow that run down the length of their bodies. The Caterpillars feed on plants within the Passiflora genus, and actually produce chemicals from the plant that help to defend against predators.

Male Underside of Wing
And where can one find these lovely looking Butterflies? Well, there original range was in India and southern China, but they have recently been spotted in the Malay Peninsula as well.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : South and Southeast Asia
Size : Body length around 18in (45cm)
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Class : Insecta -- Order : Lepidoptera
Family : Nymphalidae -- Genus : Cethosia -- Species : C. cyane

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