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The Common Mime

July 9, 2010

The common mime (Chilasa clytia) is a swallowtail butterfly (Papilionidae) which has two main forms: a brown and a white with black streaks. Both main forms mimic different poisonous butterflies of the Danaidae family. Such poisonous butterflies accumulate poisons of the host plants, often members of the  ‘lilavadee-family’ (Apocynaceae). A bird which has an unpleasant experience from trying to eat the real poisonous butterfly, will not touch a mime either.

The harmless mimes can be identified based on their typical orange swallowtail spots, which are not present in the true danaids. The larvae feed on members of the laurel family (Lauraceae). At Dokmai Garden that includes Litsea glutinosa and Cinnamomum spp. (cinnamon).

Chilasa clytia, forma dissimilis, is here drinking nectar from the native pagoda-flower Clerodendrum paniculatum (Lamiaceae). This plant is an excellent butterfly restaurant.

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