103Common tiger (Danaus genutia)

The Common Tiger (Danaus genutia) is a colorful and widespread butterfly species belonging to the Nymphalidae family. Here’s a detailed description:

Physical Characteristics: The Common Tiger butterfly exhibits vibrant coloration and striking patterns, making it easily recognizable. Its wingspan typically ranges from 75 to 95 millimeters. The upper side of the wings is predominantly orange with black stripes and markings. The forewings have a distinct black border with white spots near the apex, while the hindwings feature black veins and spots arranged in rows. The undersides of the wings are similar in pattern but are paler in color, with a yellowish-orange hue and less prominent markings.

Habitat and Distribution: Common Tigers are found across a wide range of habitats, including open woodlands, grasslands, scrublands, gardens, and urban areas. They are distributed throughout much of South and Southeast Asia, including countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They are particularly abundant in tropical and subtropical regions where their larval host plants are abundant.

Behavior and Life Cycle: Common Tiger butterflies are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. They are strong and agile flyers, often gliding and fluttering gracefully among flowers and foliage in search of nectar and mates. The females lay eggs singly on the undersides of leaves of various host plants, including species of milkweed (Asclepias) and other members of the Apocynaceae family. The caterpillars hatch from the eggs and feed on the leaves of the host plants before pupating and emerging as adult butterflies.

Conservation Status: The Common Tiger is not considered globally threatened and is generally common and widespread throughout its range. However, like many butterfly species, it may face localized threats due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation caused by agricultural intensification, urbanization, and climate change. Conservation efforts focused on preserving and restoring habitat connectivity, protecting larval host plants, and minimizing human disturbance are crucial for ensuring the long-term survival of this iconic butterfly species.

Overall, the Common Tiger butterfly is a beautiful and ecologically important species, valued for its colorful appearance, graceful flight, and role in pollination and ecosystem functioning. Its presence adds vibrancy and vitality to natural landscapes and serves as a symbol of the rich biodiversity of the regions where it is found.

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