Indian Tortoiseshell

Scientific Name
Aglais caschmirensis
KOLLAR, 1844
Specie in
Family
Aglais caschmirensis, Darjeeling, India by Haraprasan Nayak
Aglais caschmirensis, Darjeeling, India by Haraprasan Nayak

Introduction

There are 6 species in the genus Aglais, which some workers now consider to be a subgenus within Nymphalis. The Aglais are distinct from Nymphalis in being somewhat smaller in wingspan, and with brighter and more contrasty markings, but the basic wing pattern and colours are very similar.

The most well known and widespread member of the genus is the Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae, which occurs across the whole of Europe and most of temperate Asia, but does not occur south of the Himalayan mountains.

There are 3 species found in the Himalayas – ladakensis and rizana are restricted to the western Himalayas, while the illustrated species caschmirensis has a wider distribution, being found across the Himalayan foothills from Kashmir to Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet.

Habitats

This species is found on flowery slopes and other semi-open rural habitats in the foothills of the Himalaya, at altitudes between about 1000-4000m.

Lifecycle

The larval foodplant is Urtica ( Urticaceae ).

Adult behaviour

Both sexes feed avidly at the nectar of wild and cultivated flowers. Early or late in the day when temperatures are cool they bask on bare ground, or on rocks, with their wings fully outspread. In very warm conditions they settle on soil, and hold their wings erect.

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Butterfly of
Scientific Name
Aglais caschmirensis
by
KOLLAR, 1844
Family
SubFamily
NYMPHALINAE
Tribe
N/A
SubTribe
N/A

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