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Also known as the Danaid Eggfly or the False Plain Tiger.
Hypolimnas missippus can be found in forests, gardens and other open areas. This species can adapt to many habitats including deserts, savanna, acacia shrubs and beaches.
They are spread across the continents of Asia, Australia and Africa. and are also found in Mississippi, Florida and South America.
The males are slow flying individuals often seen basking on the ground or perched with half-open wings in the bush.
Female are often seen hovering over the open ground in search of a place to lay eggs.
This widespread species of nymphalid butterflies is well known for polymorphism and mimicry. Males are blackish with distinctive white spots that are fringed in blue. Females are in multiple forms that include malelike forms while others closely resemble the toxic butterflies Danaus chrysippus and Danaus plexippus.
Males have blackish purple wings with large white circular patches on each wing. The females mimics Danaus chrysippus, having an orange color, the apical area of the forewings is black divided by a band of white spots and the hind wings have black edges.
Two broods fly from April to May and September to December.
Diet: caterpillars feed on the leaves of Portulaca oleracea which are their host plant. They also eat the leaves of various plants
Wingspan: 5.6 - 9 cm / 2 3/16 - 3 1/2 inches .
* As seen here, Common Diadem (Hypolimas missipus) butterflies are very similar in appearance to Plain Tigers (Danaus chrysippus).
Because the Plain Tiger, as a caterpillar, consumes poisonous plants leaves, it is toxic to predators as an adult.
The Diadem has evolved to look similar to the Tiger (Batesian Mimicry), so that it to can avail itself of the avoidance that predators give to the Tigers. The easiest way to tell them apart is that the Plain Tiger will have a black spot on each hindwing, (see above) and the Diadem will not.
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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