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THE FLYING WONDER, ORANGE OAKLEAF BUTTERFLY KALLIMA INACHUS

Phung My Trung - Nguyen Thi Lien Thuong - ADMIN

The Orange Oakleaf butterfly Kallima inachus, one of the best-known butterfly species in Vietnam, has the ability to disguise as a leaf to hide from its enemies. When at rest, it hold wings vertically and looks exactly like a dry leaf; the long tail of hindwing like a stem while a brown line extending to tip of the forewing forms the vein of the “leaf”. When hearing a noise, these butterflies will fly very high and fast, then wedging into the bushes. The upper surface of their forewings has an orange piece in the middle, tip of wing is black with a small white dot, and remain parts of forewing and hindwing are indigo-blue. Their submarginal of hindwing has brown yellow color and scattered blue scales. Postdiscals of forewing and hindwing have a thin waved black line.

 

 

 

 

Orange Oakleaf butterfly Kallima inachus picture: Phung My Trung

 

 

In most female butterflies, the apex of forewing is lengthened and protruding. While in male butterflies, the upper surface of wings has purple blue or bluish color depending on the season. And during mating season, the color of under surface of wings of male ones is really showy to attract partners.
The “flying leaf” form of these butterflies is very useful for them to find food and hide from enemies. At a distance of two meters, could you recognize it among a thick dry leaves? Or have you ever seen this strange butterfly species in the wild? Even butterfly researchers wouldn’t have many chances to admire the beauty and wonder that Mother Nature has given to this rare butterfly species in Vietnam.  

 

 

 

 

Orange Oakleaf butterfly Kallima inachus picture: Internet download

 

 

This butterfly species only lives in the evergreen forests having big plants and not being damaged. Individuals are found in the palm bushes of Calamus sp. , plant of Arecaceae family. Sometimes they are also attracted by the rotten fruits of fig plants. This species lives at the elevations below 1,200m and distributes in South China, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. In Vietnam, this butterfly species occurs mainly in June and July in the primary forest and secondary forest adjacent to primary forest in low land areas, such as Cuc Phuong National park and Ba Vi, Tam Dao National park.

 

 

 

Orange Oakleaf butterfly Kallima inachus picture: Phung My Trung

 

 

 

 

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