Butterflies and Moths of Sri Lanka


Endemics are as proposed by Gaonkar, H. Read more about Endemism and Classification.


Black Flat Celaenorrhinus spilothyrus

Lesser Albatross

Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera

Sub-order: Ditrysia

Super Family: Papilionoidea

Family: Papilionidae


Species: C.spilothyrus Gray 1852

Similar Species    

Non in Sri Lanka


Endemic to Sri Lanka, Threatened (Global Redlist), Near Threatened (National Redlist 2007)


All over the island from sea level to 3000 feet elevation, rarer or absent towards the North. Some different sites I have observed and shot it are, at the sand-dune near Malala Lagoon (Bundala National park) and at Panama Sanctuary both from coastal areas, in Hanthana - about 2000 feet elevation, in the trail to Corbett’s Gap (Knuckles) - about 3000 feet high and in Medirigiriya near Kawudulla National Park. It is not uncommon in Peradeniya University Park and road to Hanthana. Butterfly seems to prefer wet zone as many observations are from wet zone.

Black Flat Male

Sri Lanka only


This is a forest lover but visits open aeras of home gardens where nectar plants and its host plant Aristolochia spp grows. Frequently visible in riparian forest and open scrublands at forest edges.


It has quite slow wing beat but flight is moderately fast as its wings are larger.

Early stages  

Eggs: about 2-2.5 mm


Host Plants: Aristolochia a delicate vine which is a medicinal plant grows in fences of home gardens and forest edges. Aristolochia species are also hosted by another genus of Papilionidae genus Pachliopta (Roses)



Troides darsius is refered to as Common Birdwing together with the 'Ceylon Birdwing' by many authers. But the term Common Birdwing is widely used throughout the tropic for varous Troides species. Since the Troides darsius is confined to Sri Lanka the name 'Ceylon Birdwing' is more specific and suitable for this magnificient Sri Lankan butterfly. And I suggest authors to give up continuous use of the name 'Common Birdwing' for Ceylon Birdwing.


Bernard d' Abrera (1998) says "This regal butterfly is an appropriate choice for the national butterfly of Sri Lanka, in its simple colours of black and gold" . I honestly and strongly agree with him.


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