Butterfly Details

The Archduke - Male
Scientific Name:  Lexias dirtea
Common Name:  The Archduke - Male
Native Location:  Malaysian archipelago
Description:  This is a gorgeous butterfly that we receive from Tropical Entomological House in Malaysia. One of the more interesting things about this butterfly is that the male and female of this butterfly look completely different. The male is a dark color with a wide swath of metallic bluish-green color on the outer margins of the fore and hind wings. The female on the other hand is a darker brown color with small yellow or white spots. The color of the female allows them to hide effectively against the foliage and the forest floor. The bright colors of the male are used to signal to other males for defending territory and for attracting a mate. This butterfly loves the juice from the decaying fruit that we have in the butterfly house and is one of the few butterflies that will also drink nectar from flowers. Most butterflies specialize in either one or the other. This tells us that the butterfly often stays near the forest edge, ready to take advantage of flowers in the open areas or fruit that drops from the trees to the darker forest floor.
Host Plant:  Calophyllum
Butterfly of Month on:  July 2006

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All Photos by Mark Deering, Curator of Butterflies 2005