Scientific Name: Danaus chrysippus
Tamil Name: Pattam poochi
Description: The Danaus chrysippus is a medium-sized butterfly with a wingspan of about 7–8 centimeters (2.8–3.1 in). The body is black with many white spots. The wings are tawny, the upper side brighter and richer than the underside. The apical half of the forewing is black with a white band. The male plain tiger is smaller than the female, but more brightly colored.
Distribution and Status: The range of the plain tiger extends from Africa and southern Europe, eastwards via Sri Lanka, India, and Myanmar to China, Java and Sulawesi. It is a very common species.
Habitat: It is found in many habitats including desert (pending availability of food) and right up into the mountains at altitudes up to 9,000 feet (2,700 m). It is primarily a butterfly of open country and gardens and unlike the related common tiger, is least common in damp, forested, hilly regions. It is a somewhat migratory species.
Habit: This butterfly is perhaps the commonest of Indian butterflies and is a familiar sight on the subcontinent. It flies from dawn to dusk, frequenting gardens, sipping from flowers and, late in the day, fluttering low over bushes to find a resting place for the night. As usual for diurnal butterflies, this species rests with its wings closed. When basking it sits close to the ground and spreads its wings with its back to the sun so that the wings are fully exposed to the sun’s rays. The Butterfly is active throughout the day with occasional sun basking.
Food: The caterpillar feeds especially on milk weed plant (Calotropis gigantea).
Life cycle: By curling of the abdomen the plain tiger lays eggs on single edges of leaves. Its one make per leaf bases laying helps though avoid overcrowding of the caterpillar at one place. The caterpillar is cylindrical in shape prominent bands on the body.
Role on the Environment: The plain tiger is migratory species and is on the wings all over the year.
Photo source: Mr. B. Vinoth and Mr. N. Muthu Karthick