Scientific Name :Pachilopta hector
Family : Papilionidae
Tamil Name : Pattam poochi
Description: A black, red and white butterfly with forewing having large white spots. Hind wings lack white spots. Finger like extension is present and the body is crimson.
Distribution and status: It is found in India and Sri Lanka and possibly the coast of western Myanmar. In India, it is found in the Western Ghats, southern India (Kerala), eastern India (West Bengal and Odisha). It is a straggler in the Andaman Islands. Generally common and not known to be threatened
Habitat: This butterfly is at home both in jungle and in open country. During the dry season, it will be found up to 8000 feet (2400 m) in South India, but it is found all the year round at lower elevations.
Habits: It is a very striking looking tailed butterfly with prominent white bands on its forewings. Like the Common Rose, this butterfly is also very interesting for the amateur naturalist to observe. The Crimson Rose is very fond of flowers especially Lantana. Nectar appears to be essential for the butterfly and a higher nectar intake is thought to increase egg production. It basks with its wings spread flat, sometimes in small congregations at heights of 10 to 15 meters up in the trees. Close to the ground, the flight of the Crimson Rose is slow and fluttering but steady whenthe species is looking for nectar. This butterfly is a very great flier.When resting it half draws its forewings behind the hind wings. It rests on slanting outstretched b5ranches of shrubs, bushes, trees or twigs.
Food: The Crimson Rose butterfly likes to feed on the nectar of flowers, particularly Lantana.
Life cycle: Higher numbers of them are seen during August–November and also during April–June. They breed up to 6–7 times in the year and it has been found to take only 39–47 days from egg to adult. The species is unpalatable as they sequester chemical compounds in their larval stages including aristolochic acid from the host plants. Caterpillars are purplish black coloured or blackish brown colored with black head. The flat body has orangish red tubercles and a striking yellowish white band on segments 6 to 8. The pinkish brown pupa has darker expanded wing cases and distinctive wing like expansion on the abdomen.
Role in the environment: The most striking aspect of the butterfly’s behavior is its strong migratory tendencies. During the peak of its season, several thousands of Crimson Roses can be found congregating and then they begin migrating to other areas. Involves in cross pollination of plants due its feeding of nectar.