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Malayan Eggfly

Hypolimnas anomala anomala


Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Nymphaliini; Hypolimnas anomala anomala Wallace 1869. "The "Egg-fly" - a butterfly which stands guard over its eggs until they hatch. Hypolimnas anomala and its "sister species" antilope are a fascinating pair of butterflies which have a unique way of protecting their offspring. They lay their eggs in large batches on the upper surface of leaves, and then stand guard over them, forming a protective umbrella to shield them from parasitoid wasps. They remain in this position until the eggs hatch and the tiny caterpillars have dispersed several days later. Quite how this behaviour came to "evolve" is a mystery which no one seems able to answer....."


These Malayan Eggflies were spotted on roadside foliage at the edge of a patch of secondary tropical rain forest. This habitat is really quite complex and I am not certain which features are significant for this butterfly. Briefly, about 5 metres from where these butterflies were spotted, a stream runs down the hillside and passes under the road by means of a large concrete culvert. About 50 metres away the road passes through a mangrove swamp. The point on the road where the butterflies were spotted, is about 200 metres from the sea. The area has a great variety of vegetation in all directions and a very sparse human presence. This small area has become a favourite haunt for me as I am certain to see butterflies and other insects, especially early in the morning.


Beautiful pictures of H. a. anomala -

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John B.
Spotted by
John B.

Palauig, Central Luzon, Philippines

Spotted on Nov 3, 2016
Submitted on May 17, 2022

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