Two subspecies are recognized but neither form is constant either in markings or in habitat. In the British Museum collection there are specimens of true Parantica aglea aglea from Burma, and others, inseparable from typical Parantica aglea melanoides, from Mysore.
Subspecies Parantica aglea aglea
Ground-colour fuliginous black with subhyaline bluish-white streaks and spots. Fore wing: vein 11 anastomosed with vein 12.
Upperside: fore wing—interspace 1 with two comparatively long, broad streaks united at base, truncate exteriorly; cell with a very broad, somewhat clavate streak traversed by two fine black lines; basal spots in interspaces 2 and 3; an irregular discal series of three spots and two elongate streaks and a subterminal series of spots, the two series curved inwards opposite apex of wing, the latter continued along the apical half of the costa; finally a terminal row in pairs in the interspaces, of much smaller spots; Hind wing: interspaces la, lb with broad long streaks from base; interspace 1 and cell with two streaks united at base in each, the pair in the cell with a short streak obliquely between their apices, an outwardly radiating series of broad, elongate, inwardly pointed spots in interspaces 2-8, followed by somewhat irregular rows of subterminal and terminal spots. Underside similar, the markings and spots sometimes a little ill-defined and blurred.
Antennae black; head and thorax black spotted with white; abdomen blackish brown, ochraceous beneath. Male secondary sex-mark in form 2.
Subspecies Parantica aglea melanoides
Northern and Eastern form. Differs as follows:— Wings on the whole longer and narrower; hyaline markings, especially in interspace 1 of fore wing and in cells of both fore and hind wing, very much broader. In many specimens the black ground-colour in these spaces is reduced to a mere slender black line enclosed in the subhyaline marking. On the underside the streaks are often much blurred and diffuse.
Expanse: 70–100 mm.
Subspecies Parantica aglea aglea: Sri Lanka, the Western Ghats north to Pune and the Niligiris. Subspecies Parantica aglea melanoides : The Himalayas from Kashmir to Nepal; Sylhet; Assam; Cachar; Chittagong ; Arrakan ; Burma and Tenasserim.
Dark claret-brown, two round chrome-yellow spots on each segment, with scattered smaller bluish-white spots between, clustering into and forming a conspicuous line along the sides; legs and ventral surface purplish black, the tentacula, placed as usual on the 3rd and 12th segments, claret-brown.
Green, spotted with blue and gold; much constricted behind the thorax.
Western Ghats, Northeast India and Malay peninsula.
- Bingham, C. T. (1905) The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Butterflies Vol. 1