The Paper Kite Butterfly

Paper Kite Butterfly Sipping Nectar from Purple flowers

Source

A Paper Kite Butterfly On Red Flowers

The Beautiful Paper Kite, or Large Wood Nymph enjoying nectar from a flower.
The Beautiful Paper Kite, or Large Wood Nymph enjoying nectar from a flower. | Source

Paper Kite Butterfly On a Leaf

A paper kite butterfly resting on one of the tropical plant leaves.
A paper kite butterfly resting on one of the tropical plant leaves. | Source

The Lovely Paper Kite Butterfly

The Paper Kite Butterfly only has two rather common colors, black and white, but is still an eyecatching beauty. The way the light shines through the wings is just amazing, and if there are other colors around it looks a bit like stained glass. These beauties come from Malaysia and the Philippines and Southeast Asia in General. Their official name is Idea leuconoe and they are also known as white tree nymph, or rice paper. Some lepidopterists call this butterfly the Large Tree Nymph, to make the distinction from a similar colored smaller butterfly, the Ideopsis juventa or small wood nymph. Both of those butterflies are part of the brush footed butterflies, or family Nymphalidae.

Your best bet to see one of these outside of their natural habitat will be in a butterfly house or conservatory. Keep an eye out for butterfly exhibits that may come to your local area. I have always thought of butterflies as "flying flowers" for obvious reasons. I took the picture of the Paper Kite above and just loved the tropical pink flower behind it, and felt lucky that he stopped flying long enough for me to get this picture.

Paper Kite Butterfly

Source

More details about the Paper Kite

The wingspan of the paper kite is generally about 6 inches across or 15cm.  They eat flower nectar like many other butterflies do.  When you see them flying, their wings have a slower rhythmic fluttering than some other butterflies do, which makes them all the more beautiful and magical as they are flying about. 

They live just below the forest canopy and enjoy the coastal regions.  Of the "milkweed butterflies", this one is the largest.  The subfamily is called Danainae.  When you hear about the slower flying patter, you may think this would be helpful to hungry predators.  Their predators learn that they don't taste very good so it is a helpful survival trait. 

The pupae of the Paper kite is a bright gold color, which is very different from the final colors when it emerges as the beautiful butterfly that we enjoy.

Paper Kite and Purple Flowers

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Philippines & Malaysia, home to Paper Kite Butterflies

show route and directions
A markerPhilippines -
Philippines
[get directions]

B markermalaysia -
Malaysia
[get directions]

Paper Kite Butterfly Resting On a Tree Branch

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Paper kite Butterfly Poll

Have you ever seen a Paper Kite Butterfly in person, like in a conservatory or in its natural habitat?

  • Yes, I have seen a paper kite butterfly
  • No, I have not seen a paper kite butterfly
  • I have seen some, and I can't recall if a paper kite was among the ones I have seen or not.
  • Some other answer
See results without voting

A Paperkite Butterfly Flying and Drinking Nectar

© 2010 Paula

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Comments 10 comments

PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

Great Hub great photos once again!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Butterflies are beautiful! I had never heard of this one...keep on informing us! Great Hub and Photos!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Thank you Phoenix!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Thank you Scribenet. I will try to bring more in the future, I just love butterflies!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Wow what a beauty! Shows that black and white - with the right background and well of course being a magnificent butterfly - can be as gorgeous as a butterfly filled with color. This paper kite butterfly is breathtaking - whew!

Rated up and thanks a million!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA Author

BkCreative, thank you very much!


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

Love these butterfly hubs just revisiting some keep up the great work!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Thank you, and I will, as butterflies are one of my favorite things!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

Butterflies have always held a special meaning for me. I consider it one of my animal totems. Beautiful and such delicacy, this butterfly which I was unfamiliar with. Delightful.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Denise, thank you so much. I love the intricacies and beauty of them, though I guess that is stating the obvious! I think they are a work of art, and thank you for your comment.

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