|underside of male
both in Kerala, India
Tirumala limniace, the blue tiger, is a butterfly found in South Asia and Southeast Asia that belongs to the crows and tigers, that is, the danaid group of the brush-footed butterfly family. This butterfly shows gregarious migratory behaviour in southern India.
Upperside black, with bluish-white semihyaline spots and streaks. Forewing: interspace 1 two streaks, sometimes coalescent, with a spot beyond cell: a streak from base and an outwardly indented spot at its apex; a large oval spot at base of interspace 2, another at base of interspace 3, with a smaller spot beyond it towards termen; five obliquely placed preapical streaks, and somewhat irregular subterminal and terminal series of spots, the latter the smaller. Hindwing: interspaces 1b, 1a, and 1 with streaks from base, double in the latter two, cell with a forked broad streak, the lower branch with a hook, or spur-like slender loop, at base of 4 and 5 a broad elongate streak, and at base of 6 a quadrate spot; beyond these again a number of scattered unequal subterminal and terminal spots.
Underside: basal two-thirds of forewing dusky black, the apex and hindwing olive brown; the spots and streaks much as on the upperside, Antennae, head and thorax black, the latter two spotted and streaked with, white; abdomen dusky above, ochraceous spotted with white beneath. Male secondary sex-mark in form 1.
Wingspan 98–106 mm.
The butterfly larva generally feed on plants of family Asclepiadaceae. The recorded host plants are:
- Dregea volubilis
- Heterostemma cuspidatum
- Hoya viridiflora
- Marsdenia tenacissima
- Crotalaria spp.
- Epibaterium spp.
Yellowish white; 3rd and 12th segments, each with a pair of fleshy filaments, black and greenish white; each of the segments with four transverse black bars, the second bar on all broader than the others, bifurcated laterally, a yellow longitudinal line on each side; head, feet and claspers spotted with black. The larva is around 1.21 centimetres (0.48 in) in length and weighs around 5 milligrams (0.077 gr) initially, but grows double that size and four times that weight within 48 hours.
- T. l. bentenga (Martin, 1910) – Selajar
- T. l. conjuncta Moore, 1883 – Java, Bali, Kangean, Bawean, Lesser Sunda Islands
- T. l. exotica (Gmelin, 1790) – United Arab Emirates
- T. l. ino (Butler, 1871) – Sula
- T. l. leopardus (Butler, 1866) – Ceylon, India - southern Burma
- T. l. limniace (Cramer, ) – southern China, Indochina, Hainan, Taiwan
- T. l. makassara (Martin, 1910) – southern Sulawesi
- T. l. orestilla (Fruhstorfer, 1910) – Philippines (Luzon)
- T. l. vaneeckeni (Bryk, 1937) – Timor, Wetar
This species migrates extensively during the monsoons in southern India. The migratory populations have been observed to consist nearly entirely of males. It is also known to mud-puddle during migration.
Gallery of life cycle
- R.K., Varshney; Smetacek, Peter (2015). A Synoptic Catalogue of the Butterflies of India. New Delhi: Butterfly Research Centre, Bhimtal & Indinov Publishing, New Delhi. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.3966.2164. ISBN 978-81-929826-4-9.
- Savela, Markku. "Tirumala Moore,  Blue Tigers". Lepidoptera Perhoset Butterflies and Moths.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a work now in the public domain: Bingham, Charles Thomas (1907). Fauna of British India. Butterflies Vol. 2. Taylor & Francis. p. 16.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a work now in the public domain: Moore, Frederic (1890–1892). Lepidoptera Indica. Vol. I. London: Lovell Reeve and Co. pp. 30–33.
- Kunte, K. (2005). Species composition, sex-ratios and movement patterns in Danaine butterfly migrations in southern India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 102(3):280-286
- Mathew, G.; Binoy, C.F. (2002). "Migration of butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) in the New Amarambalam Reserve Forest of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve" (PDF). Zoos' Print Journal. 17 (8): 844–847. doi:10.11609/jott.zpj.17.8.844-7.
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