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Scientific classification

Doubleday, 1849
Kallima inachus, the Indian leaf butterfly Shows the leaf-like appearance of the underside of the wing, visible when wings are closed. This is typical of the whole genus.
The upper surfaces of the wings are quite striking. This is the wet-season morph
This is the dry-season morph

Kallima, also known as the Oakleaf or Dead leaf butterfly, is a genus of butterflies of the family Nymphalidae. They are found in Asia.[1]

Their common name is a reference to the under surface of their wings, which is various shades of brown. When the wings are held closed, this results in a remarkable similarity to a dead leaf. There are dark dots or patches which look like the effects of fungi and lichen, which are so common on dead leaves.

The camouflage is perfected by the rear wings, which have a little 'tail', which looks like the stalk of a leaf. When at rest in closed position, the 'tail' touches the branch, completing the illusion.[2]

There are two morphs of the common Indian species Kallima inachus. Nothing seems to be known about why these morphs exist. There is also variation in the colour of the under surfaces.

References[change | change source]

  1. Kalima species Kalima. funet.fi
  2. Wallace A.R. 1867. The disguises of insects. Reprinted in Wallace A.R. Studies scientific and social. vol 1, Macmillan, London. p191

Other websites[change | change source]

Data related to Kallima at Wikispecies
Media related to Kallima at Wikimedia Commons