Kallima horsfieldi

Kallima horsfieldi

Taxobox | name = South Indian Blue Oakleaf
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regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
classis = Insecta
ordo = Lepidoptera
familia = Nymphalidae
subfamilia = Nymphalinae
genus = "Kallima"
species = "K. horsfieldi"
binomial = "Kallima horsfieldi "
binomial_authority = Kollar, 1844

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The South Indian Blue Oakleaf "Kallima horsfieldi" is a nymphalid butterfly found in India. The underside appears like a leaf complete with midrib while the upperside is brilliantly coloured.


:"See glossary of Lepidopteran terms for terminology used"

Dry season form

Males and females indigo-blue. Fore wing; with a broad, oblique, slightly curved, sinuous-edged, pale blue band, turning to white on the anterior half; the distance measured on the costa of the outer edge of thin band greater than half the length of the wing from the base; its inner margin bordered by short, obliquely-placed, detached linear black markings; apical area beyond the band jet-black, with a preapical whites spot; medial hyaline spots, the lower varying in size, in interspaces 2 and 3. Hind wing uniform, the costa and apex broadly and the abdominal fold brown ; vein 1 with long soft greyish-brown hairs along its length,extending also over the abdominal fold. Fore and hind wings as in "Kallima inachus", with a dark brown subterminal zigzag line, commencing below vein 3 on the fore wing.

Underside as in "Kallima inachus" simulating a dry leaf, but the resemblance on the whole is perhaps less perfect. Antennae dark brown; head, thorax and abdomen very dark greenish brown; beneath, the palpi, thorax and abdomen ochraceous earthy brown.

Wet-season form

Males and females similar. Differs in the colour of the discal band on the upperside of the forewing; this is of a uniform pale blue of a slightly lighter or darker shade, varying individually, but not turning to white towards the costal margin as in the dry-season specimens. Underside: ground-colour on the whole darker than in the dry-season form, but with the same protective colouring.Bingham, C. T. 1905. Fauna of British India. Butterflies. Vol. 1]

Wing expanse 84-120mm.

Ceylon dry-season specimens range the largest, but are otherwise indistinguishable from specimens from the Nilgiris in the British Museum collection, while specimens of the small wet-season form from Ceylon are absolutely identical with specimens of "K. wardi" Moore, regarded by the author himself as the wet-season form of "K. horsfieldi". Again, the type of "K. alompra" Moore, is now in the British Museum, and in shades of colour and in markings it is absolutely inseparable from many specimens of the wet-season form of "horsfieldii" as are also the two specimens in the Hewitsonian collection mentioned by Moore, and a specimen from ; East Pegu, collected by Doherty, in the Godman-Salvin collection.


Western Ghats from Bombay southwards; Ceylon; Burma; Tenasserim.


"Cylindrical, finely pubescent, armed with nine longitudinal rows of fine branched spines ; head surmounted by two long straight horns set with minute spines; colour a beautiful golden brown, spines red, head black. We found one specimen of this in July on Karvee ("Strobilanthes")... " (Davidson & Aitken)


Earthy brown suffused with a slight pinkish tinge and variegated with patches of darker brown; thorax angulate, abdomen with apparently a linear series of short broad tubercles. (Described from the plate in the Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. Journ. x, 1896.)


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