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Great eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina)

Great eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina) is a nymphalid butterfly species, black-winged with widths of 70–85 millimeters (2.8–3.3 in) and mimetic females with many morphs. These butterflies are very commonly found in lush trees, deciduous forests, thick and moist shrubs.

H. bolina is one of the most diverse butterflies in the world with many color variations in females. Great eggfly lay eggs on Sidagori (Sida rhombifolia) and Purslane (Portulaca oleracea). The caterpillar turns into a cocoon around the bushes

Great eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina)

Males have jet black wings with three pairs of white spots, two on the front and one on the back. These spots are surrounded by purple. The top of the rear wing has a series of small white dots. Females have brownish black wings and do not have spots, but the edges have white variations.

Larvae like potato leaves (Ipomoea batata) and hide from predators by taking shelter in the lower part of the leaves close to the ground. Females keep the leaves where the eggs have been laid. Males are also very territorial and site loyalty increases with age.



Females fly over plants to check for ants that will eat eggs. After selecting plants that did not have ants, they placed up to five eggs at the bottom of the leaves in Sida rhombifolia, Elatostemma cuneatum, Portulaca oleracea, Interrupta laportea, Triumfetta pentandra, Elatostema cuneatum, Fleurya interrupta, Pseuderanthemum variabile and Synedrella nodiflora.

Caterpillars leave the site after four days of hatching eggs. Black caterpillars, orange heads, a pair of long branched black horns and the surface of the body are covered with long black spines, branching and orange. The cocoon is brown with gray on the wings. Butterflies appear after seven to eight days as pupae.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Hypolimnas
Species: H. bolina

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