Apr - 2016

April - 2016
Dear Nature Lovers,
Greetings from oikos !

Plain Tiger is one of the common butterflies from India.
Name refers the pattern and coloration on wings similar to Tiger.
Scientific name : Danuas chrysippus,  Family : Nymphalidae (Brush-footed butterflies)
Commonly seen in peninsular India. Prefers clearings & edges in open forests.
Also common in scrub & savannah, neglected corners 
and gardens in human habitation and riversides.
It flies slow, straight and close to the ground with few vertical deviations.
Unpalatability :
All butterflies are not palatable i.e. edible for their predators.
Few are unpalatable like these milk weed butterflies (sub-family Danainae)
They are associated with plants with unpalatable alkaloids.
These butterflies lay their eggs on them and caterpillars ingest these alkaloids,
which are carried forward in adult stage making it unpalatable for predators.
If any predator eats it, toxins causes the heart to beat more strongly,
and forces the animal to vomit as side effect. As a consequence, predators avoid it.
So ingesting toxins & being unpalatable is a strategy adapted to be safe from predators.
Mimicry :
This advantage of protection has led to an interesting mimicry.
Few edible butterfly species started resembling to inedible ones,
to get this advantage of protection and are referred as "mimics", 
and inedible butterflies to whom they mimic are referred as the "model". 
This way Plain Tiger is being model to mimics like Indian Fritillary and Danaid Eggfly.
Larval Food plants : Calotropis spp., Asclepias currassavica, Cryptolepis buchnani.

रुई Calotropis gigantea, Calotropis procera 
One of the common plant found in drier region and degraded soils.
Hardy shrub, with milky latex containing cardiac glycosides and calcium oxalate.
In India, flowers and leaves are offered to Lord Hanuman and Shani.
Ketaki & Manasi. 

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Oikos for ecological services
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