Blue or chocolate?

The morning was still cool when I saw this butterfly settle on a flower. I was in the garden of the state tourism guest house in Uttarkhand’s Manila, not far from Almora. I haven’t looked at butterflies for several years. I couldn’t decide immediately whether I should think of this as a blue tiger (genus Tirumala) or a chocolate tiger (Parantica melaneus). Now looking at it and comparing it with confirmed photos of blue tigers, I’m pretty certain it is not one of those. The colour of the hindwings makes it clear that it is the chocolate tiger. There is some variation in them: in some the veins in the front wings can also be chocolate or chestnut coloured. But the blue tiger never has that colour in the upper surface of its wings. I was happy with the photo. Now I’m happy with the identification.