Creating detailed species pages is a critical aspect of the development of the Butterflies of India website. If you would like to volunteer to create a species page, please email us before you start writing the text to see if anyone else is working on it, and to get specific guidance for that species. For most species pages we expect detailed information, although summaries of natural history information is a good beginning. To see an example of a complete species page, visit Vanessa indica, the Indian Red Admiral.

If you are contributing a species page for the first time, please check the template given below before you start writing the text. Once you have written all the text, you can submit it by email. After submission, your text will be peer-reviewed and edited before it appears online. You can make changes and additions to your species page after it has been published online.

If you wish to add or edit information on species pages that were created by someone else, please contact us first.

You can submit media files (mainly photographs) to accompany species pages. First read guidelines to submit media files.

 Species page template for Butterflies of India:

Note that you may not have information for all the fields given below. We can publish species pages in which many fields are empty or have missing information. Also, the Butterfly Biology Team members or other contributors can fill missing information whenever they find time.

Scientific Name: Species scientific name Author, Year

English Name: Species English name

Subspecies in India: list all described Indian subspecies as follows:
(1) Subspecies scientific name Author, Year (Subspecies English name).
(... n) Subspecies scientific name Author, Year (Subspecies English name).

Identification Character(s): Wingspan: in mm (from Evans, W. H. 1932. Identification of Indian Butterflies). Upperside:Coloration on the upper side of wings. Underside: Coloration on the underside of wings. Additional identification characters, if any (antennae, labial palpi, legs, peculiar habits, etc).

Intraspecific Variation: Description of seasonal, sexual and individual variation.

Similar Species in India: List similar species and their distinguishing characters.

Distribution: Detailed Indian and rough global distribution of the species.
Detailed distribution of subspecies 1.
Detailed distribution of subspecies n.

Status, Habitat and Habits: Status as very common, common, uncommon, rare and very rare. Altitudinal range. Habitat range. Habits: flight, basking, feeding/mud-puddling, territoriality/hill-topping, sex-specific differences in the habits, etc.

Life Cycle: Courtship, oviposition. Morphological description of eggs, caterpillars and pupae. Habits of the early stages.

Larval Host Plants: list of larval host plants (plant family names in parentheses), with notes. One reliable, continually updated source for larval host plants is HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants, created by the Natural History Museum, London.

References: When extracting information from other sources, refer to as many books, research papers and websites as you can, but ensure that your references are reliable. Beware that many websites and some books often give outdated or otherwise wrong information. Try to refer either original or comprehensive sources of information on Indian butterflies, since many books and websites merely copy information from previously published sources. Cite all the references from which you have extracted information, in the following style:


(1) Wynter-Blyth, M. A. 1957. Butterflies of the Indian Region. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.
(2) Bascombe, M. J., G. Johnston and F. S. Bascombe. 1999. The Butterflies of Hong Kong. Academic Press, London.


(1) de Nicéville, L. 1883. On new and little-known Rhopalocera from the Indian region. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal: Part 2-Natural Science, 52:65–91.
(2) Aduse-Poku, K., E. Vingerhoedt and N. Wahlberg. 2009. Out-of-Africa again: A phylogenetic hypothesis of the genus Charaxes (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) based on five gene regions. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 53:463–478.

Edited books:

(1) Gunathilagaraj, K., B. A. Daniel, S. Molur and S. Walker (eds.). 2000. Handbook on Protected Invertebrates of India. Part 1- Butterflies Listed in Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Schedule I Part IV. Zoo Outreach Organisation, Coimbatore.

Book chapters:

(1) Holloway, J. D. 1974. The biogeography of Indian butterflies. Pp. 473-499, in M. S. Mani (ed.) Ecology and Biogeography in India. Junk, The Hague.


(1) Inayoshi, Y. 2009. A Check List of Butterflies in Indo-China (chiefly from Thailand, Laos and Vietnam). URL: (accessed 2010).

To see an example of a complete species page, visit Vanessa indica, the Indian Red Admiral.

Page citation

Anonymous 2024. CONTRIBUTING SPECIES AND BIOLOGY PAGES . In Marathe, K., V. Sarkar, B. W. Price, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 1.0. Indian Foundation for Butterflies.