Nectaring plants of butterflies

Each butterfly species is generally associated with one or a few plant species, either nectaring or host plant, or both. Nectaring plants are those that butterflies visit to sip on the flower nectar. Host plants are those that butterflies lay their eggs on, as their caterpillars generally feed on leaves of only one or two specific species.

Much is known about host plants of butterflies. However, much less is known about nectaring plants of butterflies.

It is useful to be able to identify both these host and nectaring plants as making these plants available will enhance the butterfly biodiversity of gardens or any patches of vegetation.

Local nature enthusiast Lena Chow’s series of video clips on nectaring plants add on to our limited knowledge of such plants.

1. Pagoda Flower (Clerodendrum paniculatum – attracting a female Cruiser (Vindula dejone erotella) below…

…and the Great Helen (Papilio iswara iswara).

2. Bachelor’s Buttons (Gomphrena globosa) – attracting a Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) below…

…and a Cycad Blue (Chilades pandava pandava):

3. Red Leea (Leea rubra) attracting a Black Veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus hegesippus) below…

… and Long Banded Silverlines (Spindais lohita senama):

4. Lantana (Lantana camara) attracting a Leopard (Phalanta phalanta phalanta) below…

5. Rattleweed (Crotalaria retusa) attracting Common Tigers (Danaus genutia genutia) in both the clips below…

6. Ixora (Ixora sp.) attracting the Great Mormon (Papilio memnon agenor) below:

7. Wild Banana (Musa ornata) attracts a Chocolate Demon (Ancistroides nigrita maura)…

One of the few websites that deal with nectaring plants are seen in Khew Sin Khoon’s Butterfly Circle HERE.

Also, refer HERE 1, HERE 2 and HERE 3.

Lena Chow
November 2013

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