Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera  (moths and butterflies)
Family: Nymphalidae (brush-footed butterflies or four-footed butterflies: they are known to stand on only four legs while the other two are curled up)
Subfamily Danainae

Genus/species: Idea leuconoe

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Wings are translucent white patterned with black veins, and numerous oval black spots.

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines in coastal mangrove forest and lowland rainforest.

PREDATORS: The bright wing patterns “advertise” these unpalatable qualities, All Danaines are thought to be distasteful to birds. Their bodies contain toxins which are derived from the lactiferous larval food plants, and are often supplemented by further toxins sequestered from adult food sources. Any bird that suffers the highly unpleasant experience of tasting a Danaine is unlikely to attack other similarly coloured butterflies. Effectively, a few individuals are sacrificed for the good of the species as a whole. Aposematism see Color of Life

REMARKS: They are noted for their slow and very graceful flight, which gives them the appearance of white handkerchiefs floating gently on the breeze.


California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

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Ron’s flickr


Guide to the world of butterflies and moths:…