Danaus genutia (Cramer, 1779)
Orange Tiger
DANAINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Danaus genutia
(Photo: courtesy of Khew Sin Khoon)

The Caterpillar of this species is varies in colour from beige to black. It has pale spots and transverse bands. It has a pair of long tentacles on the thorax, and shorter pairs behind the thorax and on the tail. It grows to a length of about 3 cms. It feeds on various plants from the family ASCLEPIADACEAE including :

  • Bloodflower ( Asclepias curassavica ),
  • Milkweed Vine ( Sarcostemma esculentum ),
  • Pretty Milkweed ( Raphistemma pulchellum ),
  • Waxflower ( Stephanotis floribunda ), and
  • Knotweed Vine ( Tylophora cissoides ).


    drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Papilio genutia,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 3 (1782), Plate CCVI, fig. C,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The adult butterflies are orange with wide black borders around the wings, and a variable number of white spots in the black tips of the forewings. The undersides of the wings are rather similar to the upper surfaces. The wingspan is about 6 cms.


    underside
    drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Papilio genutia,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 3 (1782), Plate CCVI, fig. D,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The eggs are bullet shaped and have a height of about 0.7 mm. They are cream coloured and laid singly on the underside of older leaves and stems of a foodplant.

    The species occurs as several subspecies throughout south-east Asia, including :

  • India,
  • Japan,
  • Malaysia, and
  • Thailand,

    and occurs as subspecies alexis (Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914) in:

  • Western Australia, and
  • Northern Territory.

    Danaus genutia
    Hong Kong
    , 1979
        
    Danaus genutia
    Kampuchea
    , 1985


    Further reading :

    Pieter Cramer,
    Description de Papillons Exotiques,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 3 (1779), pp. 23-24, figs C, D, and also Plate 206, figs C, D.

    C.E. Meyer,
    Notes on the Life History of Danaus genutia alexis (Waterhouse and Lyell) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Danainae),
    The Australian Entomologist,
    Volume 22, Part 4 (November 1995), pp. 137-139.


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    (updated 16 March 2010, 27 January 2014, 4 March 2015)