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Common Baron or Euthalia aconthea

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.

Kerala is home to about 330 varieties of butterflies. Of these, 37 are native to this region. India belongs to the oriental zoological region and the geographical features of this part of land are well reflected in the flora and fauna of Kerala, too.

Common Baron (Euthalia aconthea) is mostly found in the forest areas of southern India. The adult male butterfly is dark olive coloured while the female has a lighter complexion. At the base, there are 3 U-shaped marginal bands and two groups of white spots. These white spots are larger in size for the females. The wingspan of the common Baron is 55-80mm.

Common Barons mostly feed on rotten fruits, vegetables, toddy, plant sap and damp patches. However, its principal host plant is mango tree and hence these butterflies can be seen not only in the wild but also in cities and markets.

These butterflies always keep to a low height for flying. The flying is of stiff flap and glide style. Highly territorial in habit, it often returns to the same spot again and again.

Apart from India, Common Barons are found in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Sunderland.