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Common Castor or Ariadne merione

A butterfly is a flying insect of the order Lepidoptera belonging to one of the super families of Hesperioidea and Papilionoidea. These insects are remarkable for their striking colours and beautiful patterns on their wings.

Common Castor (Ariadne merione) is an orange butterfly, found in almost every part of India, including Himalaya and Southern India. It belongs to the Nymphalidae family.

Upper side of the Common Castor is reddish brown with transverse black wavy lines. In females, these wavy lines are broader in the form of distinct bands. The underside is often pale and duller in colour, and the black wavy lines are replaced by denser and suffuse brown bands. Wingspan is 52-62mm.

Common Castor is a very active butterfly but its wings are rather weak. Castors are often found flying gracefully as if sailing through the air among the castor plants or any dense vegetation. They are fond of resting on leaves at the top canopy, keeping the wings slowly moving sideways and always nearer to host plants. Common Castors are also known as castor butterflies.

Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia are some other nations where Common Castors are found.