Abisara echerius
The Plum Judy is a small but striking butterfly
A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured...

 found in Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 belonging to the Punches and Judies
The Riodinidae are a family of butterflies. The common name "metalmarks" refers to the small metallic-looking spots commonly found on their wings. There are approximately 1,000 species of metalmark butterflies in the world...

 family. This active butterfly is usually seen at the tops of trees and amidst foliage.

It has a habit of landing and turning around almost immediately after alighting. It repeats this turning movements as it moves along branches. This is believed to help in evading predators by causing confusion about head orientation.

This distinctive mode of movement gives the impression of 'dancing' and is an important field characteristic that helps in identifying the species from even a distance.


Charles Thomas Bingham
Charles Thomas Bingham
Charles Thomas Bingham was an Irish military officer and entomologist.Bingham’s military career began in India where he was a soldier in the Bombay Staff Corps and later with the Bengal Staff Corps...

 in his The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma volume on butterflies describes the species as follows:

A very variable form. Termen
Glossary of Lepidopteran terms
This glossary describes the terms used in the formal descriptions of insect species, jargon used mostly by professionals or entomologist....

 of hind wing more or less broadly angulate or produced at apex of interspace 3, but not narrow or tailed as in Abisara neophron
Abisara neophron
The Tailed Judy is a small but striking butterfly found in India that belongs to the Punches and Judies family.-Description:...


Wet-season form

Male: Upperside rich purple-brown or maroon-brown with a blue gloss. Forewing with discal and postdiscal transverse fasciae very obscure and only slightly paler than the ground-colour. Hind wing uniform ; two inwardly conical small black spots near apex of interspace 1, and single similar but larger black spots near apices of interspaces 5 and 6; all these spots bordered slenderly and somewhat obscurely on the outer side with white. Underside dull maroon-brown. Fore wing with a broad, slightly curved discal, narrower postdiscal and subterminal transverse pale bands; the discal fascia broadening anteriorly. Hind wing: a slightly curved narrow discal pale fascia; the black spots as on the upperside, but bordered on the inner and on the outer sides by an obscure pale lunular line. Antennae black with scattered pale specks; head, thorax and abdomen maroon-brown; beneath, the palpi, thorax and abdomen paler brown.

Female: Upperside: hazel-brown, the terminal halves of the wings paler. Fore wing : discal and postdiscal broad, obscure, pale transverse fasciae, followed by similarly obscure, somewhat broken, inner and outer subterminal pale transverse lines. Hind wing with a transverse series of obscure postdiscal pale lunular spots ; the black white-margined spots as in the male but smaller, the anterior two superposed, on the pale spots; terminal margin below vein 4 with inner and outer, and above vein 4 with single subterminal transversely linear markings. Underside: ground-colour similar but paler on the basal, very much paler on the terminal halves of the wings; the markings as on the upperside, but the fasciae on the fore and hind wings broader, more diffuse ; the black subterminal spots in interspaces 1, 5 and 6 of the hind wing smaller. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen as in the male but paler.

Dry-season form

Male: Upperside the maroon-brown not glossed with purple; the transverse fasciae on the fore and the black markings on the hind wing much as in the wet-season form, but the former more obscure, more diffuse, the latter smaller. Underside as in the wet-season form but paler.

Female: upper and under sides similar to those of the wet-season, form but conspicuously paler, the contrast between the dark basal and pale terminal halves in fore prominent, the discal band on the underside of the forewing very broad, diffuse and pale, often nearly white. Antenna, head, thorax and abdomen in both sexes as in the wet-season form but paler.

Wing expanse: 41-52mm.


Variety angulata Moore, and var. abnormis Moore, have been described from Burma and Tenasserim. Typically, these differ slightly from echerius as follows:—Upperside with no purple gloss; the discal and postdiscal transverse bands more clearly defined, the former sometimes white anteriorly on the upperside, generally white or whitish on the underside and extending across both fore and hind wings; underside of hind wing with an extra, subterminal black spot. The white markings and the extra black spot are variable characters, and specimens intermediate between typical echerius and typical angulata or abnormis are not uncommon.

Race bifasciata (Moore) is found in the Andaman Islands
Andaman Islands
The Andaman Islands are a group of Indian Ocean archipelagic islands in the Bay of Bengal between India to the west, and Burma , to the north and east...

. Male upperside is not as dark as in the wet season form of echerius. The transverse pale bands on both wings are broad and diffuse.


The Himalayas, Chumba to Kumaon
Kumaon Division
For Kumaoni/Kumauni People see Kumauni PeopleKumaon or Kumaun is one of the two regions and administrative divisions of Uttarakhand, a mountainous state of northern India, the other being Garhwal. It includes the districts of Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar...

, Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 and Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

 ; Ambala
Ambala is a city and a municipal corporation in Ambala district in the state of Haryana, India, located on the border of the states of Haryana and Punjab in India. Politically; Ambala has two sub-areas: Ambala Cantt and Ambala City, approximately 3 kilometers apart from each other...

; Fyzabad; Malda; Calcutta; Gunjam
Ganjam is a town and a notified area committee in Ganjam district in the state of Orissa, India.-Geography:Ganjam is located at . It has an average elevation of 3 metres .-Demographics:...

; Southern India from below Poona and Bombay; Ceylon; Burma; Tenasserim ; China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...


Life history

The eggs of the butterfly are laid on host plants belonging to the family Myrsinaceae
Myrsinaceae, or the Myrsine family, is a rather large family from the order Ericales. It consists of 35 genera and about 1000 species....

, including Ardisia spp., Maesa indica and Embelia laeta.


Flat, very broad in the middle, tapering to both ends, clothed sparsely with short hairs ; head small, not enclosed in the 2nd segment; colour light green. (Davidson & Aitken
Edward Hamilton Aitken
Edward Hamilton Aitken was a civil servant in India, better known for his humorist writings on natural history in India and as a founding member of the Bombay Natural History Society...



Also clothed with hairs, and altogether so like the larva that it is difficult to note exactly when the change takes place. It is closely attached to a leaf by the tail and a girdle. (Davidson & Aitken)

External links

See also

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