Scientific Name: Melanitis leda
Tamil Name: Pattam poochi
Description: It is a brown butterfly with a series of yellowish brown eye spots in the wet season form. The hind wing is slightly tailed which is prominent in the female. The dry season form is slightly comparatively paler. The overall appearance is like a dry leaf which helps it camouflage. Ground dwelling.
Habitats: Wooded areas. Prefers to stay in undergrowth during the day
Habits: Flight is jerky and close to the ground. Active at dusk and dawn and sometimes comes indoors attracted to light.
Food: Adults feed mainly on nectar, and in rare cases visit rotting fruits
Life cycle: It lays a white colored round egg near the host plant. Being a nocturnal feeder the caterpillar feeds only during night and takes rest during the day. The caterpillars feed on a wide variety of grasses including rice (Oryza sativa) and bamboo.
Role in the environment: Resident butterflies are known to fight off butterfly visitors to the area during dusk hours
Photo source: Mr. B.Vinoth and Mr. N. Muthu Karthick