Chliaria othona

Chliaria othona

The Orchid Tit, Chliaria othona is a species of lycaenid or blue butterfly found in Asia.

Description

See glossary for terms used

The Orchid Tit is a small butterfly which has a wingspan of 24 to 27 mm. The butterfly has two tails, one is 4mm long at v1 and the other 2mm long at v2.

UP:
Male: The butterfly is pale blue above with three-fifths of the apex black. The apex and the costa of the HW are more narrowly black.
Female: The female butterfly is brown in colour above with whitish lower part of the disc. The tornal area of the HW is very pale blue with serrated black markings.
UN: Both sexes are white below with black-edged brown markings and bars at end cell. The FW has a discal band which is broken around v4 and which is broader above the break. There is a prominent black costal spot above the mid-cell. The HW also has a discal band broken in 4 and 6 with a prominent black spot towards the base of 7.The butterfly also has prominent orange-crowned tornal spots.

Distribution

The Orchid Tit is found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, North Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Pulau Tioman and possibly Taiwan.

In Inda the butterfly is found in the Western Ghats, the Himalayas from Garhwal to Assam, Bengal and onto Myanmar.

In Sikkim, the Orchid Tit is found up to an altitude of 5000 ft.

Status

Rare in South India. Not Rare in the North.

Habits

The Orchid Tit is to be found in dense, rainy jungles. It is rarely seen except around its foodplants - the flower buds of epiphytic orchids. It flies weakly and settlles on flowers, leaves. It visits damp patches.

Life cycle

Caterpillar - Green onisciform larvae with red dorsal band and three red rippled lines on each side. The caterpillar's head is concealed and it's body covered with minute bristles. Distinct short protuberances extend from the anal segment. It feeds on the flowers of the orchid..

Pupa - Smooth and greenish-grey, resembles those of other Lycaenidae spp. It has a few white markings, with a distinctly wavy pattern on the wing covers. It is found fastened along the stem of the orchids.

Larval food plants - The Orchid Tit's larval host plants are from the family Orchidaceae from genus Arundina, Dendrobium, Papilionanthe, Phaius, Phalaenopsis, Spathoglottis and the specific species are Papilionanthe subulata and Spathoglottis plicata

Cited references

See also

References

  • , , & . (Editors). 2003. The Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex). World Wide Web electronic publication. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/entomology/lepindex.
  • (1932) The Identification of Indian Butterflies. (2nd Ed), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India
  • (1992) Butterflies of Sikkim Himalaya and their Natural History. Sikkim Nature Conservation Foundation.
  • Website on Lepidoptera (accessed 12 October 2007)
  • (1957) Butterflies of the Indian Region, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India.

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