Butterflies and Moths of Sri Lanka

 

Small Families


There are four families in Sri Lanka with single or two members. First three families below are sometimes classified under subfamilies of family Nymphalidae. Some includes the member of Riodinidae in family Lycaenidae.

  • Amathusiidae
  • Acraeidae
  • Libytheidae
  • Riodinidae

Family Amathusiidae

1. Medium to large size butterflies. Ornamented with prominent eye-spots

2. Forelegs undeveloped.

3. Timid but not weakly flyers.

4. Sex marks appear on the hindwings of most males as specialized patches of scales

5. Crepuscular in habit and avoid bright sunshine.

6. Larvae cylindrical,thickened centrally, covered in tuft of long hairs.

7. Pupae green, elongated boat shape.

8. Seasonal variations appear.

9. Food plants belong to Gramineae (Poaceae) and Palmacea.

10. Sri Lanka gets one species, Discophora lepida ceylonica [Southern Duffer]


Family Acraeidae

1. Small to medium size butterflies.

2. colour range is Yellow to red.

3. Wings have thin layer of scales.

4. No known sex marks appear in males.

5. No anal fold on hindwing.

6. This butterflies appier to be distasteful for predators.

7. Larvae cylindrical with longitudinal rows of spines.

8. Pupae slender without gold markings.

9. Sri Lanka gets one species, Telchinia violae [Tawny Coster]

           
Tawny Coster Telchinia violae
 
Dark-Brand Bushbrown   DISTRIBUTION
-
Abundant up to 600 m.
  SIMILAR SPECIES
-
None
  STATUS
-
Common
  HABITS
-
Migratory species
  FEEDING PLANTS
-
Passiflora foetida [S - Delbatu]
       
       
 
 
 
   
   

Family Libytheidae

1. Medium size butterflies.

2. Palpi are elongated and beak-like.

3. In males forelegs are imperfect while they are functionally perfect in females.

4. In all known members of this family wing shape is virtually invariable.

5. Larvae is cylindrical and covered with minute hairs.

6. Structurally closely related to Nymphalidae

7. Sri Lanka gets two species,

Libythea celtis lepitoides [Beak]

Libythea myrrha rama [Club Beak]

           
Club Beak Libythea myrrha rama
 
Common Bushbrown   DISTRIBUTION
-
Between 150 m to 1500 m
  SIMILAR SPECIES
-
Beak
  STATUS
-
Uncommon
  HABITS
-
Migratory species
  FEEDING PLANTS
-
Celtis spp. [Family Ulmaceae]
       
       
 
 
 
   

Family Riodinidae

1. This family does not have single character, appearance or structure that is differ from other families.

2. Genitalia and early stages show similarity to those of Lyceanidae.

3. Other features point to relationship with other families.

4. Active butterflies, not timid.

5. Sri Lanka gets one species, Abisara echerius prunosa [Plum Judy]

           
Plum Judy Abisara echerius prunosa
 
Tamil Bushbrown   DISTRIBUTION
-
Jungles up to 1200 m.
  SIMILAR SPECIES
-
None
  STATUS
-
Common
  HABITS
-
 
  FEEDING PLANTS
-
Ardisia ellipti [Lunu dan]
       
       
 
 
 
   

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