Hypolycaena erylus – Common Tit
Pratapa deva – White Tufted Royal
Rachana jalindra – Banded Royal
Tajuria cippus – Peacock Royal
Tajuria jehana – Plains Blue Royal
Tarucus ananda – Dark Pierrot
Euthalia lubentina – Gaudy Baron
Delias eucharis – Indian Jezebel
Delias hyparete – Painted Jezebel
Synonym: Loranthus falcatus L.f. (WFO, 2023).
Natural History: One of the most common perennial, hemi-parasitic shrubs in India, growing on the branches of other trees. It does not have a well-developed root system and therefore depends on the host for water and minerals. Leaves are elliptical and leathery. Two of its varieties are very common in India, one with white flowers (var. falcata) and the another with red flowers (var. coccinea). Flowers are tube-like, borne in clusters, with more flowering in winter and summer. Fruits are small, red when ripe, and contain a seed with sticky pulp which helps them adhere to the branches during seed dispersal. Pollination and seed dispersal are mediated by the nectar-eating (nectarivore) and fruit-eating (frugivore) birds respectively.
Notes: This plant has been recorded as a new larval host for Tajuria jehana – Plains Blue Royal by Ashok Sengupta from Bengaluru, Karnataka in 2013.
Nitin, R., V. C. Balakrishnan, P. V. Churi, S. Kalesh, S. Prakash, and K. Kunte. 2018. Larval host plants of the butterflies of the Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 10:11495–11550. DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.322.214.171.12495-11550.
HOSTS (2023) - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants. Accessed on 03 Feb 2023. URL: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/data/hostplants/search/.
WFO (2023): World Flora Online. Accessed on 03 Feb 2023. URL: http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-0000641204.
Flowers of India (2023). Accessed on 03 Feb 2023. URL: http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Honey%20Suckle%20Mistletoe.html.
Sengupta, A. and N. Kawthankar 2023. Dendrophthoe falcata (L.f.) Ettingsh. – Honey Suckle Mistletoe. In Kunte, K., S. Sondhi, and P. Roy (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 4.12. Published by the Indian Foundation for Butterflies. URL: https://www.ifoundbutterflies.org/dendrophthoe-falcata, accessed 2023/12/02.