Scientific name Junonia orithya
|Similar Junonia, Junonia almana, Hypolimnas, Junonia atlites, Kallima|
Blue pansy male or junonia orithya butterfly sitting on sand
Junonia orithya is a nymphalid butterfly with many subspecies occurring from Africa, through southern and south-eastern Asia, and in Australia. In India its common English name is the blue pansy, but in southern Africa it is known as the eyed pansy as the name blue pansy refers to Junonia oenone. In Australia this butterfly is known as the blue argus.
- Blue pansy male or junonia orithya butterfly sitting on sand
- Junonia orithya
- Food plants
Male upperside: somewhat more than half the forewing from base velvety black, apical half dull fuliginous; cell-area with or without two short transverse orange bars; a blue patch above, the tornus; the outer margin of the basal black area obliquely zigzag in a line from the middle of costa to apex of vein 2, including a large discal, generally obscure ocellus, which, however, in some specimens is prominently ringed with orange-yellow. Beyond this a broad while irregularly oblique discal band followed by a short oblique preapical bar frm costa; a small black orange-ringed ocellus beneath the bar, a subterminal continuous line of white spots in the interspaces and a terminal jet-black slender line; cilia alternately dusky black and white. Hindwing blue shaded with velvety black towards base; a postdiscal black white-centred orange and black-ringed ocellus in interspace 2, a round minutely white-centred velvety black spot (sometimes entirely absent) in interspace 5; the termen narrowly white, traversed by an inner and an outer subterminal and a terminal black line; cilia white.
Underside forewing: basal half with three black-edged, sinuous, broad, ochraceous-orange transverse bands, followed by the pale discal baud; ocelli, preapical short bar, subterminal and terminal markings much as on the upperside; the discal band margined inwardly by a broad black angulated line which follows the outline of the black area of the upperside. Hindwing irrorated with dusky scales and transversely crossed by subbasal and discal slender zigzag brown lines and a postdiscal dark shade, on which are placed the two ocelli as on the upperside; sub terminal and terminal faint brown lines, and a brownish short streak tipped black at the tornal angle below the lower ocellus.
Female. Similar, with similar but larger and more clearly defined ocelli and markings; the basal half of the forewings and hindwings on the upperside fuliginous brown, scarcely any trace of blue on the hindwing. Antennae brown, head reddish brown, thorax and abdomen above brownish black: palpi, thorax and abdomen beneath dull white.
"Head and body of a very dark shining black shading into brown......head on a short neck, latter of an orange colour for a short distance; caudal extremity also tipped with orange. Body covered with perpendicular spines armed with strong radial hairs.....Head bifurcated, reddish spot in centre of face, a small spinous process in the angle of each eye." (Forsayeth in de Niceville)
"suspended by tail, naked; wing-covers of a muddy yellow; rest of body of a purplish colour variegated by lines of a dull creamy white. Slight projections of an angular nature along abdomen." (Idem.)
The adults occur in open areas, often sitting on bare ground. This species has a stiff flap and glide style of flight and maintains a territory, driving away other butterflies that enter it.
Larval host plants are recorded from the families Acanthaceae, Annonaceae, Convolvulaceae, Labiatae, Plantaginaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Verbenaceae, Violaceae and specific plants are Angelonia salicariifolia, Annona senegalensis, Antirrhinum majus, Asystasia gangetica, Asystasia scandens, Buchnera linearis, Englerastrum scandens, Hygrophila salicifolia, Hygrophila senegalensis, Ipomoea batatas, Justicia micrantha, Justicia procumbens, Lepidagathis formosensis, Lepidagathis prostrata, Misopates orontium, Phyla nodiflora, Plantago amplexicaulis, Plectranthus scandens, Pseuderanthemum variabile, Striga asiatica, Striga hermonthica, Thunbergia alata, Viola odorata
In southern Africa the food plants are; Graderia subintegra, Cycnium adonense, Hygrophila species and Plectranthus species.