The yamfly is a small, eye-catching butterfly found in the tropical, deciduous and evergreen forests of the Indian subcontinent. It flies rapidly in short bursts, moving from perch to perch.
It is so called because the caterpillar feeds on the leaves of the yam plant. Its larvae also feed on young shoots of the Smilax creeper. Yamflies are always guarded by ants that feed on the sugary substance produced by its larvae.
The adult female is usually found near its larval food plant. The yamfly has a reddish orange upper side, with a broad black apex and a border on the forewings. The border is narrow or absent in the hind wings. Its underside is orange-yellow with some faint bands.
The yamfly’s long tail has a white tip which twirls even in a slight breeze, and is often mistaken for its head by predators.