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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Common Imperial
Cheritra freja   FABRICIUS, 1793
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe -
Cheritra freja, Chilapata, West Bengal, India  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The genus Cheritra comprises of 4 species variously distributed from India and Sri Lanka to Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and south through Indonesia to Bali and Java.
Cheritra freja is the commonest and most widely distributed species, being found throughout the above region, with the exception of the Philippines where it is replaced by orpheus and aenea.
Cheritra freja, Chilapata, West Bengal, India  Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This species can be found in primary rainforest but also occurs in disturbed or secondary forest. It can be found at elevations between sea level and about 800m.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants include Xylia and Cinnamomum ( Lauraceae ).
Cheritra freja, Chilapata, West Bengal, India  Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour
Males are invariably encountered singly, either perching on foliage in dappled sunlight, or imbibing mineralised moisture from the ground. They usually rest with the wings held erect but will bask with wings half open in certain lighting conditions. Females are normally only seen in flight, skipping from plant to plant in search of oviposition sites.

 

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