Butterflies attracted to banana plants

posted in: Butterflies and Moths, Fauna | 0

An earlier post list a gecko, a bat and birds that visit the banana plant for the flower nectar or the ripe fruits LINK.

This post highlights the butterflies associated with the banana plant. The Red Helen (Papilio helenus) (top) and the Common Birdwing (Troides helena) (above) were photographed at the Penang Butterfly Farm by Khew Sin Khoon of Butterfly Circle. The food plant of these butterflies is the wild banana found growing in the forest, now popularly grown as a garden ornamental.

The cultivated banana is the host to the Banana Skipper (Erionota thrax thrax) (above). The caterpillar feeds on the leaves causing the characteristic rolled up portions as shown below.

The two stages of the caterpillar are shown below (scale in mm).

Credit: Khew Sin Knoon (images of butterflies) & YC Wee (images of caterpillars and rolled up leave).

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