AppearanceJet black butterfly with row of white spots along the middle part of hindwing. 90–100 mm.
NamingThe common name is an allusion to the polygamy formerly practiced by members of the Mormon sect according to Harish Gaonkar, of the Natural History Museum in London:
... the origins of giving common English names to organisms, particularly butterflies for tropical species started in India around the mid 19th century ... The naming of Mormons evolved slowly. I think the first to get such a name was the Common Mormon , because it had three different females, a fact that could only have been observed in the field, and this they did in India. The name obviously reflected the ... Mormon sect in America, which as we know, practiced polygamy.
The scientific name is constructed from the Latin word for butterfly, ''papilio'', and the Greek word for many, ''poly''.
StatusVery common. Not threatened.
BehaviorThe females perch on an exposed branch with wings open or closed. They are courted by the males who approach from behind and slowly and elegantly settle into position.
HabitatThe common Mormon prefers lightly wooded country, but is present everywhere and high up into the hills. It is a regular visitor to gardens, being especially abundant in orchards of its food plants—oranges and limes. It is most common in the monsoon and post-monsoon months.
ReproductionThe eggs are laid singly on top of the leaves. They are round and yellow to light-yellow in colour.
FoodThe larvae breed on various species of family Rutaceae including:
⤷ ''Aegle marmelos'' or bael
⤷ ''Atalantia racemosa''
⤷ ''Citrus'' spp.
⤷ ''Glycosmis arborea''
⤷ ''Murraya koenigii'' – curry leaf
⤷ ''Murraya paniculata''
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