Blue Oakleaf

The Blue Oakleaf butterfly Kallima horsfieldi (as are other members of this genus) is known for its stunning resemblance to a dry decaying leaf. The mimicry is so perfect that it is complete in all details. The butterfly when sitting with wings closed resembles a leaf and the undersides have varying shades of brown, with markings representing the midrib and the veins of a leaf.  Signs of fungal attack (seen on most dead leaves) are also represented on the undersides of the butterfly. And the butterfly usually sits with the wings closed. When sitting, the butterfly makes very subtle movements. This behaviour enhances the effect of the mimicry. All the camouflage is restricted to the undersides. Very rarely are two individuals alike on the undersides. Often, it is very difficult to locate one of these butterflies at rest. The colours on the upperside are in stark contrast to the underside. On the upperside, the Blue Oakleaf is largely greyish with areas of blue, a band of white and a black tip to the forewing. This species is found in forested areas of south India. Members of this genus occur in parts of South-East Asia.





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