Amathusia phidippus phidippus (Palm King) visited our home too!

Amathusia phidippus phidippus (Indian Palm King, Palm King)

Macro image of Amathusia phidippus phidippus (Palm King) captured on Dec 13, 2007 Wow! What a beauty this gorgeously patterned butterfly is! How wonderful to be able to capture a dozen close-up shots of it with my compact camera Canon Powershot A60, and to continue delighting in all its fabulous images on my personal computer as and when I desire, details impossible to admire otherwise.

This impressively large butterfly has a ‘tail’ and a wingspan of 11-12 cm. It is beautifully clothed in some shades of brown on the upperside, whilst the under surface is ‘designed’ with broad bands in varying shades of reddish or cinnamon brown and interspersed with narrower off-white bands. Each hind wing has two large submarginal ocelli (eye-spots). This tropical butterfly is crepuscular in habit, active during dusk and often enters lighted houses.

Yippee! Count us as one of the blessed ones to have the pleasure of this beauty visiting our home last December! ;) Butterflies are such welcome visitors to our garden. And now to have one in our home is simply marvelous too! This Indian Palm King surprised us one late evening by flying into our lighted house, probably from one of the palms growing in our garden and attached itself on the ceiling of our dining hall. Past midnight, it was still there when the dining lights were switched off!

More hours passed and yet the next morning, it still hung there until I tried to capture it with a camera flash that caused it to fly away. It fluttered around the sitting hall and landed between the folds of the curtain, just perfect for ‘trigger-happy’ me to snap some photos! How exciting! Then, feeling sorry that it was sort of trapped in our home, I guided it outside to our garden. It momentarily attached itself on the wall just outside our home entrance for a last pose, as if to say goodbye and thank me for my hospitality? Then it flew to a Lady Palm bush nearby and finally, free and away, never to be seen again. Nonetheless, this is one treasured experience and I’m so happy to have pictures to remind me of this lovely home-visiting butterfly, the Amathusia phidippus phidippus or commonly named, Indian Palm King! :)


  • Scientific name: Amathusia phidippus phidippus
  • Common name: Indian Palm King, Palm King
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)
  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: Morphinae (Brush-footed butterflies)
  • Tribe: Amathusiini
  • Genus: Amathusia
  • Species: A. phidippus phidippus

Foodplants: Include Arecacea (Palm family) especially coconut palm, Bignoniaceae, Fabaceae, etc.

Distribution: India to Myanmar, Thailand, Indo-China, Malaysia, Singapore, Sundaland, Sulawesi and Philippines.

More information at Wikipedia..

Last edit: May 29, 2016

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