Common Tiger: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Common Tiger Fact File

The common tiger or Danaus genutia is a very common butterfly in the Indian subcontinent. Their body pattern is very similar to the pattern of Indian tigers. Therefore, they are known as common tiger butterflies. Common tigers are also referred to as the striped tiger butterfly in local areas. These butterflies are endemic to South Asian countries except New Guinea. This is the most common butterfly of India inhabiting a wide variety of habitats throughout the subcontinent. Apart from India, the common tiger butterfly also has a decent population in some areas of its neighboring countries.

The species of common tiger butterfly (Danaus genutia) is divided into 16 subspecies based on regional differences. The distribution of the butterfly subspecies extends from China to Australia, passing through Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, India, Bali, Sri Lanka, northeastern and western Sumatra, Borneo, and Java. These common butterflies produce harmful toxins, therefore they are not eaten by many animals. However, the level of poison is much less than the blue tiger butterfly.

To know more facts about the butterfly, keep on reading these facts. For similar content check out white admiral butterfly and Ulysses butterfly facts too.

Common Tiger

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Flowers and nectar

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1 egg per host plant

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

2.7-3.7 in (70-95 mm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Orange, black, and white spots

Skin Type

Soft scales

What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them

Moist deciduous forests, gardens, and scrublands


Southeast Asia





Scientific Name

Danaus genutia





Common Tiger Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a common tiger?

The common tiger (Danaus genutia), also known as the striped tiger, is a type of butterfly.

What class of animal does a common tiger belong to?

The common tiger or Danaus genutia of Lepidoptera order and Nymphalidae family belongs to the class Insecta, the common class for all insects of the world.

How many common tigers are there in the world?

Currently, the population of Danaus genutia butterflies is unknown. A fairly common species throughout its range in Southeast Asia, the ability of common tigers to settle in various types of habitats has helped this species to grow in numbers. The fairly common presence of the common tiger or the striped tiger indicates that their population is probably following a stable trend.

Where does a common tiger live?

Danaus genutia butterflies are distributed throughout Southeast Asia. They are one of the most common butterflies found throughout India. Common tigers can adapt to the different types of habitat conditions around the Indian subcontinent. From there, their distribution extends to some neighboring countries of India like China, the lowlands of Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Further south, some of these butterflies have been spotted in Australia.

What is a common tiger's habitat?

The common tiger (Danaus genutia) can live in both dry and wet habitat zones and very occasionally are found in hills. They largely inhabit semi-arid or moist deciduous forests and scrublands that receive moderate to heavy annual rainfall. The butterfly also occurs along ridges and hill slopes covered with bushes. They have adapted to transformed habitats of cities and mainly live in gardens and parks.

Who do common tigers live with?

The common tiger (Danaus genutia) is a butterfly of the Danainae group. These brush-footed butterflies are generally observed to live in colonies, for example, the monarch butterfly of the Danaus family lives in a colony of eight butterflies. They live in a small group or colony but do not necessarily forage together.

How long does a common tiger live?

The lifespan of an adult Danaus Genutia or the common tiger is unknown. However, most of these butterflies of India can live a life up to 10 days on average. Another member of the Danaus family the plain tiger, also found commonly in India, has a similar life span. The male lives for 10-15 days while the female lives for 7-12 days. Common tigers are believed to have a similar lifespan, although the data is not accurate.

How do they reproduce?

Common tiger butterflies reproduce by joining a female's body with the male. Reproductive gametes are passed to the female's laying tube which fertilizes the eggs later. Females lay a single egg on host plants. The eggs hatch after three days and the larvae come out of it. Larvae transform into caterpillars with a black body and three pairs of horns. They transform into a bright green pupa marked with golden yellow spots after few days. Finally from the pupa, the adult butterfly emerges.

What is their conservation status?

The species of Danaus genutia or the common tiger butterfly is Not Evaluated in the IUCN Red List. These butterflies are found very commonly in Southeast Asia and are a native species of India. This butterfly is thriving comfortably in large numbers in such a heavily industrialised country like India. However, no precise information is available regarding the conservation actions for this group of butterflies.  

Common Tiger Fun Facts

What do common tigers look like?

The common tiger (Danaus genutia) also known as the striped tiger is a fairly big butterfly with a large wingspan. It is known as the common tiger butterfly because of its tiger-like body pattern. The adult butterfly has a vibrant orange color all over its body and wings with black markings. The front wings are tan orange in color and bordered by a broad black margin on the edge of the wings. The broad black border of the wings consists of a series of white spots in two rows. In some individuals, the lower wings might look similar to the upper wings while the lower wings of others are covered with large white spots. The veins of the butterfly are clearly visible as they are marked by black bands. The underside of the body is a paler version of the upper part with similarly marked veins. Both sexes are more or less identical but on the underside of the hindwings of a male, two black and white spots are present.  

Common tiger butterfly facts are educational.

How cute are they?

The common tiger is one of the most beautiful butterflies found all over the world.

How do they communicate?

Communication between common tiger butterflies occurs by releasing chemical cues like pheromones.

How big is a common tiger?

The length of the common tiger (Danaus genutia) butterfly ranges between  2.7-3.7 in (70-95 mm). Their wingspan ranges between 0.3-3.7 in (7-95 mm). They are a little bit larger than the viceroy butterfly.

How fast can a common tiger fly?

The Danaus genutia or the common tiger are known to be very fast fliers. However, their speed has not been calculated.

How much does a common tiger weigh?

A butterfly like a common tiger (Danaus genutia) is too light to measure its weight. This means that the weight is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male and female butterfly do not have any specific names. Both are called common tiger butterflies.

What would you call a baby common tiger?

A butterfly goes through 4 life stages which are larva, caterpillar, pupa, and adult butterfly. A baby common tiger is called a larva until it turns into a caterpillar.

What do they eat?

The common tiger butterfly (Danaus genutia) follows a herbivorous diet. They feed on the flowers of their host plants for nectar.

Are they dangerous?

The caterpillar of this butterfly might contain some toxins. The butterfly however is not dangerous to humans. However, blue tiger butterflies are poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

They won't make good playful pets. Also, they have a very short lifespan and die after 15 days.

Did you know...

The colors of the Danaus genutia are known as aposematic and they are used to warn predators. They are often targeted by many species but what eats them is still a mystery.

The common tiger butterfly does not migrate.

What happens during the common tiger butterfly's caterpillar stage?

Pale or white-bodied butterfly larvae emerge from the egg after three days. In a short span, the larvae start to transform into a caterpillar by developing black rings and yellow spots on its body. They stay caterpillars for two to five weeks. Pairs of horn-like structures also protrude from the head, neck, and posterior end of the caterpillar. The caterpillar has a large blackhead and a black patch on the body. The black caterpillar turns into a lime green pupa in the next stage.

The caterpillar stage is when the butterfly is at its most vulnerable of being hunted.

How many eggs do common tiger butterflies lay?

The total number of eggs that a common tiger lays is not known. Laying a single egg at a time on the leaves of the host plant has been observed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these eight-spotted forester moth facts and ebrietas butterfly facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our stained glass butterfly coloring pages.



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