Common Tiger
Scientific Name Danaus genutia
Describer Cramer, 1779
Kingdom animalia
Class Unknown
Order lepidoptera
Family nymphalidae
Distribution India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and extending to South East Asia and Australia (except New Guinea)
Size 75 to 95 mm
Alternative Names Striped Tiger
Regional Names 20px-Japan(スジグロカバマダラ sujigurokabamadara )


The Common Tiger (Danaus genutia) is one of the common butterflies of India. It belongs to the "Crows and Tigers", that is, the danainae group of the Nymphalidae family. The butterfly is also called Striped Tiger in India to differentiate it from the equally common Plain Tiger Danaus chrysippus
Butterfly Common Tiger Danaus genutia

pinned specimen


The butterflies are usually encountered singly or in two's and three's.

They have a slow undulating flight, with fairly shallow wing beats, and patrol flowery areas, circling about around the tops of flowering bushes. Both sexes alight periodically to nectar at flowers, and usually keep their wings held half open or closed while feeding.

Late in the afternoon, particularly if it becomes cloudy, they commonly bask with wings outspread on bushes or on dry twigs. Cloud cover or lowering temperatures cause them to close their wings, and they then adjust their position to hang suspended from the twigs overnight. Sometimes groups of half a dozen or more can be found clustered together at dusk on twigs or branches.


It has some 16 subspecies; its evolutionary relationships are not completely resolved, but it appears to be closest to the Malay Tiger (D. affinis) and White Tiger

  • Danaus genutia genutia (India to China, Sri Lanka, Andamans, Nicobars, Peninsular Malaya, Thailand, Langkawi, Singapore, Indo-China, Taiwan, Hainan)
  • Danaus genutia sumatrana Moore, 1883 (western and north-eastern Sumatra)
  • Danaus genutia intermedia (Moore, 1883)
  • Danaus genutia conspicua Butler, 1866 (southern Sulawesi)
  • Danaus genutia niasicus Fruhstorfer, 1899 (Nias)
  • Danaus genutia intensa (Moore, 1883) (Java, Bali, Bawean, Borneo)
  • Danaus genutia partita (Fruhstorfer, 1897) (Lesser Sunda)
  • Danaus genutia leucoglene C. & R. Felder, 1865 (northern Sulawesi)
  • Danaus genutia tychius Fruhstorfer, 1910 (Selajar)
  • Danaus genutia telmissus Fruhstorfer, 1910 (Butong Island)
  • Danaus genutia wetterensis (Fruhstorfer, 1899) (Wetar Island, Timor)
  • Danaus genutia laratensis (Butler, 1883) (Tanimbar Island)
  • Danaus genutia kyllene Fruhstorfer, 1910 (Damar Island, Kai Island)
  • Danaus genutia alexis (Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914) (Northern Territory to north-western Australia)


This is a lowland species occurring in disturbed forest edge habitats at elevations between sea level and about 500m.



The caterpillar is black, marked dorsally with pairs of narrow white transverse dorsal bands, and rows of yellow spots. Below the spiracles there is a broad white broken band, in-filled with more yellow spots. Long black filaments with conical maroon bases project from the 2nd, 8th and 11th segments. These may possibly be used to disseminate pheromones, and may function to ward off predators or parasitoids.


The chrysalis is plump, rounded, smooth, and pale green in colour, marked with black dots and flecks of gold and silver. It is suspended by the cremaster from a stem, away from the foodplant.

food plantsEdit

The caterpillar of the Common Tiger butterfly obtains a supply of poison by eating poisonous plants, which makes the caterpillar and butterfly a distasteful morsel for predators. The most common foodplants of the Common Tiger in Peninsular India are small herbs, twiners and creepers from the family Asclepiadaceae, including:

Genus Danaus
Known species

Danaus affinis - Danaus chrysippus - Danaus cleophile - Danaus dorippus - Danaus eresimus - Danaus erippus - Danaus genutia - Danaus gilippus - Danaus ismare - Danaus melanippus- Danaus petilia - Danaus plexippus -

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