When you think of pansies, images of these blooms in the foreground come to mind. But butterflies with the name Pansy are some of the most common in our region. Or in south-east Asia for that matter. Although there are six in the Pansy list, I’ve yet to see the Blue Pansy and the Yellow Pansy. They belong to the family Nymphalidae.
The Grey Pansy/Precis atlites is mostly found near water bodies. I live near a marshy area which is why I get to see bugs which are mostly seen on the edge of rice fields. The underside of this butterfly is pale with faint markings. Although it is said to be less commonly seen (in India) than the other Pansy varieties, I’m happy it likes to hang out in my front yard. Preferred areas are the Ixora bush and the Lantana.The Lemon Pansy/Precis lemonias lemonias is a quick flier and is the most difficult to photograph. Prefers damp and shady areas.
The Chocolate Pansy/Precis iphiti iphita is also known as the Chocolate Soldier. Wonderfully camouflaged on dry leaves one can barely make out the difference. Its distribution is the entire oriental region. This was photographed in an overgrown garden in another neighbourhood. In my garden I’ve often found the Chocolate Soldier near the drain.
The Peacock Pansy/Precis almana almana is the most conspicuous among all the Pansy varieties seen here. With those large eye spots on the hindwings, they look owlish from the back. One will invariably find them in sunny areas. Easy to photograph.
The underside is much paler as you can see from the photo above. The Grey and the Peacock Pansies were photographed in my garden. The first photo of the flowers was taken at a horticultural show earlier this year. Still on the lookout for the Blue and the Yellow Pansy butterflies. They have eluded me so far…..