Thursday, January 8, 2009

Black Rajah at Mud puddle
In Yeoor mud puddling season started already. We can see lots of butterflies attracting and congregating on small dried nallahs where few wed mud patches exists. This is Black Rajah attracted on mud and fruit bait. The underwings are whitish grey with series of yellow spots. Its got 2 beautiful and elegant tails on each wing and gives him “Rajah” look. This butterfly is very strong and active day flying butterfly found near the tamarind tree which is its food plant. It settles always on high up and difficult to locate because of its protective coloration. This is one of the fastest butterflies of India and is very uncommon here in Thane.
In butterflies, especially males of certain species--enjoy puddles. They love to congregate at puddles. Butterflies have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to nectar in flowers immediately. Many adult butterflies are found drinking fluids at wet sand or mud, especially along stream courses or the edges of dirt roads or trails. There are certain minerals that some butterflies, such as swallowtails, sulfurs, and blues need that are not provided in a diet of nectar alone. These minerals are found in standing water, or mud puddles.
It seems whenever the word butterfly is mentioned it is immediately connected with the word nectar. This is entirely appropriate, since nectar is without a doubt the primary food source of butterflies. The preferred diets will vary considerably depending upon the butterfly species. While people generally think of butterflies as feeding from the nectar of flowers, other common diets include mud, cow dung, water and tree sap. They get nutrients and minerals from rotting fruit, sap and even dung, urine, and carrion. The butterfly's mouthpart, or proboscis, is used to probe for and drink nectar from flowers. Their proboscis is like a long, spiral-like tube and works in a remarkable way, similar to that of an elephant's trunk. As the butterfly forces blood into this spiral-like tube, it then becomes straight. This type of mouthpart means that the butterfly feeds primarily on liquids as opposed to their caterpillars, which have chewing mouthparts. This Rajah was attracted to the over ripped and rotten fruits and greedily sucked the juices from it.
Yuwaraj Gurjar.

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