It is gaudy, and it is a baron! The gaudy baron butterfly has a splash of iridescent colors on its hindwings. The image here is of a female baron near a puddle. Butterflies show affinity to wet substrates to gather their supply of liquid nutrients, especially salts – a behavior known as mud puddling.

gaudy baron, euthalia lubentina

It is usually the males which do the mud-puddling, gather the essential salts, and transfer it to the females through it sperm, while mating. Hence the males are frequent puddlers as they need to replenish the sodiums after mating. The one in the image here is but a female. Why is it at a puddle instead of a flower? Research shows that old or worn out female butterflies which have lesser chances of re-mating, exhibit puddling to replenish their sodium reserves. Also, many female butterfly species do not re-mate, requiring them to gather their nutrients on their own. I am not sure if one of these is the reason for this female gaudy baron to be at the puddle. Puddling behavior varies from species to species. Some nymphalidae species use droplets from their abdomen to moisten the ground on which minerals are present.

Species: Euthalia lubentina, Common Name: Gaudy Baron, Family: Nymphalidae
Larval food plant: Scurrula parasitica
Date: 24 Mar 2013
Location: Anamika waterfalls, Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh, India.
Camera: Nikon D80 + Tamron SP AF90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Lens


  1. Boggs C, Jackson LA (1991) Mud puddling by butterflies is not a simple matter. Ecological Entomology 16 (1):123-127
  2. Singh AP (2011) Butterflies of India

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