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Pachliopta hector (*)

Familia: Papilionidae
Subfamilia: Papilioninae
Tribus: Troidini
Subtribus: Troidina
Genus: Pachliopta
Species: Pachliopta hector
Name

Pachliopta hector (Linnaeus, 1758)
Synonyms

Papilio hector Linnaeus, 1758

References
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio Decima, Reformata. Tomus I. Holmiæ (Stockholm): impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii. 824 pp. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.542 [first availability: page 459] BHL Reference page.

Links

ZooBank: 1482CDDC-050E-4AF6-8629-E0EC71A9AE25

Vernacular names
English: Crimson Rose
தமிழ்: சிவப்பு உடல் அழகி

Pachliopta hector, the crimson rose,[2][3] is a large swallowtail butterfly belonging to the genus Pachliopta (roses) of the red-bodied swallowtails.[2][3]

Range

It is found in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and possibly the coast of western Myanmar.[2][3]

In India, it is found in the Western Ghats, southern India (Tamil Nadu, Kerala), eastern India (West Bengal and Odisha). It is a straggler in the Andaman Islands.[2][3][4]
Status

It is generally common and not known to be threatened. It is common all along the Western Ghats up to Maharashtra but rare in Gujarat. This species is protected by law in India.
Description

The male's upperside is black. Forewing with a broad white interrupted band from the subcostal nervure opposite the origin of veins 10 and 11, extended obliquely to the tornus, and a second short pre-apical similar band; both bands composed of detached irregularly indented broad streaks in the interspaces. Hindwing with a distal posteriorly strongly curved series of seven crimson spots followed by a subterminal series of crimson lunules. Cilia black alternated with white. Underside: forewing dull brownish black, hindwing black; markings as on the upperside, but the crimson spots and crescent-shaped markings on the hindwing larger. Antennae, thorax and abdomen above at base, black; head and rest of the abdomen bright crimson; beneath: iho palpi, the sides of the thorax and abdomen crimson.[5][6]

The female is similar, the discal series of spots and subterminal lunules much duller, pale crimson irrorated (sprinkled) with black scales; in some specimens the anterior spots and lunules almost white barely tinged with crimson; abdomen above with the black colour extended further towards the apex.[5][6]

No geographic races have been described.[5][6]
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 tailed butterfly with prominent white bands on its forewings. 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.

Close to the ground, the flight of the crimson rose is slow and fluttering but steady. At greater heights, it flies faster and stronger. It basks with its wings spread flat, sometimes in small congregations at heights of 10 to 15 metres up in the trees.

The butterfly often roosts for the night in large companies on the twigs and branches of trees and shrubs, sometimes accompanied by a few common Mormons. When resting the butterfly draws its forewings halfway between the hindwings. The butterfly sleeps on slanting outstretched branches or twigs of trees or bushes.
Aposematism and mimicry

The red body, slow peculiar flight, bright colouration and pattern of the wings are meant to indicate to predators that this butterfly is inedible, being well protected by the poisons it has sequestered from its larval food plant. Its flight and behaviour is much like that of the common Mormon. Like that butterfly, it too is inedible and rarely attacked by predators. This has led to this butterfly also being mimicked by a female morph of the common Mormon (Papilio polytes), in this case, the female form romulus.
Migration

The most striking aspect of the butterfly's behaviour is its strong migratory tendencies. During the peak of its season, several thousand crimson roses can be found congregating and then they begin migrating to other areas.

In the Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 1880, p. 276, Mr. R. S. Eaton notes that in Bombay this butterfly roosted in great numbers together, however Charles Thomas Bingham notes that in the Western Ghats between Vengurla and Belgaum, where the butterfly occurred in some numbers and had the habit of roosting in company on twigs of some thorny shrub, but never saw more than "a score or so together".[5]

Pachliopta hector, the crimson rose,[2][3] is a large swallowtail butterfly belonging to the genus Pachliopta (roses) of the red-bodied swallowtails.[2][3]
Range

It is found in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and possibly the coast of western Myanmar.[2][3]

In India, it is found in the Western Ghats, southern India (Tamil Nadu, Kerala), eastern India (West Bengal and Odisha). It is a straggler in the Andaman Islands.[2][3][4]
Status

It is generally common and not known to be threatened. It is common all along the Western Ghats up to Maharashtra but rare in Gujarat. This species is protected by law in India.
Description

The male's upperside is black. Forewing with a broad white interrupted band from the subcostal nervure opposite the origin of veins 10 and 11, extended obliquely to the tornus, and a second short pre-apical similar band; both bands composed of detached irregularly indented broad streaks in the interspaces. Hindwing with a distal posteriorly strongly curved series of seven crimson spots followed by a subterminal series of crimson lunules. Cilia black alternated with white. Underside: forewing dull brownish black, hindwing black; markings as on the upperside, but the crimson spots and crescent-shaped markings on the hindwing larger. Antennae, thorax and abdomen above at base, black; head and rest of the abdomen bright crimson; beneath: iho palpi, the sides of the thorax and abdomen crimson.[5][6]

The female is similar, the discal series of spots and subterminal lunules much duller, pale crimson irrorated (sprinkled) with black scales; in some specimens the anterior spots and lunules almost white barely tinged with crimson; abdomen above with the black colour extended further towards the apex.[5][6]

No geographic races have been described.[5][6]
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 tailed butterfly with prominent white bands on its forewings. 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.

Close to the ground, the flight of the crimson rose is slow and fluttering but steady. At greater heights, it flies faster and stronger. It basks with its wings spread flat, sometimes in small congregations at heights of 10 to 15 metres up in the trees.

The butterfly often roosts for the night in large companies on the twigs and branches of trees and shrubs, sometimes accompanied by a few common Mormons. When resting the butterfly draws its forewings halfway between the hindwings. The butterfly sleeps on slanting outstretched branches or twigs of trees or bushes.
Aposematism and mimicry

The red body, slow peculiar flight, bright colouration and pattern of the wings are meant to indicate to predators that this butterfly is inedible, being well protected by the poisons it has sequestered from its larval food plant. Its flight and behaviour is much like that of the common Mormon. Like that butterfly, it too is inedible and rarely attacked by predators. This has led to this butterfly also being mimicked by a female morph of the common Mormon (Papilio polytes), in this case, the female form romulus.

Migration

The most striking aspect of the butterfly's behaviour is its strong migratory tendencies. During the peak of its season, several thousand crimson roses can be found congregating and then they begin migrating to other areas.

In the Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 1880, p. 276, Mr. R. S. Eaton notes that in Bombay this butterfly roosted in great numbers together, however Charles Thomas Bingham notes that in the Western Ghats between Vengurla and Belgaum, where the butterfly occurred in some numbers and had the habit of roosting in company on twigs of some thorny shrub, but never saw more than "a score or so together".[5]

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