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Red Pierrot or Talicada nyseus

Kerala is home to 330 varieties of butterflies of which 37 are native to the region. Red Pierrot (Talicada nyseus) is one of the most colourful butterflies of Kerala.

Found throughout southern India, Assam, Orissa and the northeast, Red Pierrots belong to Lycaenids or Blues family. They are abundant where their host plant, Kalanchoe, is found.

Adult butterflies have blackish brown or blackish violet brown upper side. The hind wings have a scarlet band occupying the lower two thirds of the outer area and a delicate brown tail. The underside is white coloured. The forewings have black outer border having white spots and hind wings have orange border, white spotted black apex and black spotted disc. Wingspan is 30-36mm.

A weak flier, Red Pierrot flutters about close to the ground. It can be often seen basking in the sun but it prefers to remain in the shade more. It keeps on the wing almost till dark when it settles on the undersides of leafs and twigs often in company.

Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar are some other places where red Pierrots are found.