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Danaid Eggfly

Danaid Eggfly
Photo Information
Copyright: Pankaj Bajpai (pankajbajpai) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1470 W: 102 N: 4711] (16627)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-07-21
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D80, 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6GED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Ni
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): My Butterflies ( From Chattisgarh), Butterflies with minimum 50 points & above, Butterflies By pankaj Bajpai, Gems from India, Butterflies of India, Butterfly Encyclopedia [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-07-29 19:20
Viewed: 4588
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Butterfly post no : 94

This butterfly is Danaid Eggfly - Hypolimnas misipus, Linnaeus.


A medium sized Nymphalid with a wingspan of 65-75 mm. The sexes are dissimilar. Both sexes have distinctly wavy wing margins.

The males are sooty black above with two oval white patches, one on the forewing and the other on the hind wing. There is another smaller white patch below the apex of the forewing. All of them are surrounded by a gorgeous iridescent royal blue band which also extends partway towards the center of the white patches. The undersides are a beautiful rusty brown with white bands towards the center of each wing.

The female has two forms, both of which are excellent mimics of the Plain Tiger. The common form is tawny brown with a black apex and a narrow white band below it. The rest of the wing is relatively unmarked except for a black spot towards the front margin of the hind wing near vein . The underside has two black spots on the hind wing.

The second form inaria is quite rare and does not have the black band below the apex of the forewing, but is otherwise is similar to the normal form. Interestingly, this form also mimics the Plain Tiger, but it mimics the equally rare form of the Plain Tiger, dorripus, quite an extraordinary case of co-evolution.

Similar species

Male Great Eggfly - A much larger species and though the upperside looks very similar, the underside is a pale brown without any of the rich brown colour of the Danaid Eggfly.

Plain Tiger - It has black markings at the center of the hind wing and has smooth wing margins, not wavy.

Status, distribution and habitat

It occurs below 2000 feet elevation and is commonest in the dry and intermediate zones. It is most abundant with the onset of the monsoon. It prefers open scrub jungle and well-lit openings. It is common on the coastal dunes and thorn scrub at Hambantota during the north-east monsoon when Asystasia gangetica comes up in profusion. The female is less abundant than the male and is also frequently misidentified due to its resemblance to the Plain Tiger. Hence its 'rarity'.


The male has a strong flight and often settles on vegetation close to the ground, on bushes or small trees. From such vantage points, it gives chase to passing butterflies to check out for females, often returning to the same perch or one close by if courtship fails. It remains in the same location for a few days before moving on in search of more suitable locations. It seems to take no notice of flowers.

The female behaviour is quite different. It wanders about a great deal in search of its larval food plant or mates, and is rarely seen in the company of the males, except during courtship and mating. Although its flight is slow and leisurely like that of the Plain Tiger, it flies much lower to the ground. When alarmed, it reverts to a typical fast nymphalid fight to escape its enemies.

ramthakur, JoseMiguel, gracious, wallhalla15, anel, angybone, mayuresh, gannu, cecilia, nainnain, PaulH, XOTAELE, JORAPAVI, eqshannon, ridvan, mikou, valy67 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Do you know what, Pankaj? Those two large white spots at the centre of this rather weather-beaten butterly's wings look like the head lamps of a car at full beam :-).
This is an exotic species and you have captured it very well with its wings open.
TFS and regards.

Hi Pankaj,
Moving really fast. The composition, colors and details are very nice here. Very good capture a aged though. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Pankaj,
You're so prolific in the butterflies posts!
I like so much the bright white spots on the dark wings, it really stands up on the image.
It's very good the composition built here, with the smooth gradation in focus at the background, that blurs so nicely the flowers.
Well done and thanks for share it..
My best regards,

Hello Pankaj,
This guy relly makes himself visible, with the shining contrasting wing patterns!
The insect is captured with good details...
Well framed in a classical composition!
Pablo -

Hello Pankaj,
Outstanding and beautiful white spots on the butterful!
perfect sharpness with details
thanks for sharing

Hello Pankaj,
this is a very nice butterfly shot. Great POV, framing and sharpness too. Very nice colours and bg. This is a very good composition. Thank you.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-07-30 1:39]

Hello Pankaj,
A very poetical picture, Pankaj. And the fact that the whole picture is a little bit blurred gives a magical touch to the picture. I love it.
Thanks and best regards

And another beauty to your collection - great colors- blacks are notoriously difficult to meter, in my opinion.
Great pov and background. :)

Hi Pankaj,
An excellent shot with superb composition and pov.lovely colours and nice BG.
well done.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-07-30 6:09]

Pankaj nice pose and you have left the subject in the frame beautifully.Well done Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-07-30 7:48]

Hi Pankaj,
Wonderful shot of this tattered and battered Eggfly as it sits elegantly. Very neat and sharp image and the colours are lovely. Probably because of its huge wings they tear of soon and I am yet to see a complete species. I had the oppurtunity once but infortunately could not have a decent shot. But they look gorgeous and you have done admirably well here. Perfect lighting and focus and the POV is great. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

Very striking image, terrific shot Pankaj.
Well taken.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-07-30 9:12]

Hi Pankaj,

Wonderful shot of this butterfly who has seen better days but it still a beauty. How unusual it is with those big round white markings. Your blacks and whites are excellent. Fine details and a beautiful blurred background.


tres joli papillon, belles couleurs nettes et excellent BG
bien vu, bravo

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-07-30 11:17]

Hello Pankaj

A very beautiful composition showing this slightly tattered beauty.The surroundings are very nice with fantastic colours.The POV is interesting with sharp details and excellent focus on the butterfly.Nicely done.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-07-30 14:09]

Hi Pankaj,
a great composition and well seen BG, i love the hint of blue around the white spots on the wings.

Amigo Pankaj.
Bella mariposa con unos colores llamativos y muy bien saturados.
Perfecto encuadre y buen PoV.
Hasta pronto, JL.

  • Great 
  • kjpweb Gold Star Critiquer [C: 326 W: 86 N: 1084] (4788)
  • [2007-07-30 15:33]

Well done, Pankaj! Seems this butterfly has some hard times behind him. Bravo! Cheers, Klaus

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-07-30 23:03]

hi Pankaj
belle macro de ce papillon en fin de vie. Ces couleurs restent vives, et distrayantes. Bonne présentation sobre et efficace.


Fantastic portrait of a beautiful butterfly, sharp focus. Well done.
Best wishes,

Hello Pankaj, you're a great buterfly's specialist, this one is more beautifull, good sharpness and very good compostion,

Hola Pankaj,
Preciosa toma de gran belleza y elegante composición, bonitos colores y detalles con gran definición con luz y fondo muy bellos, saludos
josé Ramón

Again a black and white. They do make an easy to see target for your lens. I must admit to seeing only one butterfly in all of my walks. Your area is blessed with a preponderance of them. Focus on.


selam pankaj, an excellent shot and very good composition of this butterfly nice pov and bg with splendid colours. Well done ! Regards ridvan

Hello Pankaj,
Very beautiful butterfly, wonderful colors
Great POV and sharpness, very well composed


  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-07-31 12:07]

Hi Pankaj.
Great composition with nice POV.You've captured this damaged butterfly in pretty pose with opened wings.Good exposure and focus.Your POV nice shows amazing white spots on his wings.Beautiful contrast.Your butterfly with black/white colours looks against coloured BG beautifully.Well done presentation and good note too.
TFS,with greeting Milos.

Hello Pankaj !
Wow, I love this one, he is so beautiful ! These big white spots on black wings look fantastic, pity that the wings are so damaged... Excellent details, nice colors, beautiful composition and POV, wonderful blurred BG, and an excellent pose of the butterfly, with the wings wie open so we can admire al its beauty. Very well done !

Hello Pankaj.

Excellent picture, nice composition.

Jose Luis.

Hi Pankaj, splendid butterfly with great details and excellent sharpness, wonderful colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

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