For several days walking back from teaching class I have observed an extraordinary butterfly. Back in the Dominican Republic I wrote a small book on butterflies. It is called and Incomplete guide to Lepidoptera of the Dominican Republic. I am an amateur scientist when it comes to these matters. Still it does not stop me from probing deeper the mysteries of nature.
Finally today the butterfly landed beside me when I was collecting grasshoopers to feed to my hungry spiders. I carefully took out the camera and photographed this gift of heaven. Blue does not occur much in nature. I think it was Darwin who first notied this phenomenon (although it probably was a Chinese scientist thousands of years ago who first noted this feature of nature). It probably has something to do with the evolution of vision in insects and mammals.
I have identified this butterfly as the Blue Pansy—–Junonia orithya (Linnaeus,1758)
Junonia is a genus of nymphalid butterflies, described by Jacob Hübner in 1819. They are commonly known as Buckeyes, Pansies, or Commodores. This genus flies on every continent except Antarctica. The genus contains about 30-35 species.
Madagascar, Tropical Africa (dry), Arabia, India, Ceylon, Burma, New Guinea, N.Australia. See [About maps] Blue Pansy
Papilio orithya Linnaeus, 1758; Syst. Nat. (Edn 10) 1 : 473, TL: S.China
?Junonia orithya f. isocratia Hübner, ; Verz. bek. Schmett. (3): 34
?Precis orithya ab. flava Wichgraf, 1918; Int. Ent. Z. 12: 26
?Precis adamauana Schultze, 1920; Ergeb. 2tn. Dt. Zent. Afrika Exp. 1 (14): 823
?Precis orithya ab. jacouleti Watari, 1941; Zephyrus 9: 70-72
Junonia orithya [Wahlberg]
Junonia orithya [Don Herbison-Evans]
Papilio oritya ; Linnaeus, 1764, Mus. Lud. Ulr.: 473 (missp.)
orithyra ; Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914, (missp.)
orithyia ; [BIR]
Precis orithya ; [BOW: pl. 150, f. 6]
Junonia orithya ; [BOR, 278]; [MRS, 578]; [Wahlberg]; [AfrL]
Nevertheless here are some more pics.
Blue Pansy (Nymphalidae Nymphalinae Junonia orithya – Linnaeus, 1758)
The ova are about 0.5 mm diameter;
many of the eggs were laid on non-LFP plants.
The 1st instar larva, 2 mm when first hatched out (left);
about 1 cm / 0.4 inches long (right)
The 2nd instar larva, about 1.5 cm / 0.6 inches long
A 3rd instar larva, about 2.5 cm / 1 inch long.
A nearly mature larva, about 4 cm / 1.6 inch long.