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Plain Tiger

Danaus chrysippus


This is a common butterfly which is widespread in Asia and Africa. It is a medium-sized, non-edible butterfly, which is mimicked by multiple species. The Plain Tiger is believed to be one of the first butterflies to be used in art. A 3500 year old Egyptian fresco in Luxor features the oldest illustration of this species.


Seen in my garden.


The Plain Tiger is protected from attacks due to the unpalatable alkaloids ingested during the larval stages. The butterfly therefore flies slowly and leisurely, generally close to the ground and in a straight line. This gives a would-be predator ample time to recognise and avoid attacking it. Inexperienced predators will try attacking it, but will learn soon enough to avoid this butterfly as the alkaloids in its body cause vomiting. The butterfly also has a tough, leathery skin to survive such occasional attacks. When attacked it fakes death and oozes nauseating liquid which makes it smell and taste terrible. This encourages the predator to release the butterfly quickly. The Plain Tiger thus has the ability to recover "miraculously" from predator attacks that would kill most other butterflies.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Atul 8 years ago
Plain Tiger
Danaus chrysippus Danaus chrysippus

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1 Comment

Wild Things
Wild Things 8 years ago

Thanks for the correction, Atul :-)

Wild Things
Spotted by
Wild Things

Maharashtra, India

Spotted on Jul 20, 2012
Submitted on Jul 29, 2012

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