About Butterflies

13697026_1264139320293026_7570827725611708632_nCommon Sailor(Neptis hylas)
This is a common butterfly in all parts of Sri Lanka.It inhabits gardens,wetlands,scrub lands and other open areas.It is even found in home gardens in urban areas where there is a suitable habitat.
This species has a peculiar gliding flight and can often be seen alighted with wings spread out.This butterfly readily feeds on the juices of ripe fruit in addition to nectar,and is a common presence in our home garden.

13718560_1260744020632556_169441993664690836_nTiny Grass Blue(Zizula hylax hylax)
This is a very small butterfly,as the name implies. It has a wingspan of about 1.5 c.m.(or 0.6 inches).
This butterfly has longer fore-wings that shows prominantly and a long body in relation to the wings,the abdomen going behind closed wings.It has a blue-grey color with distinct black dots on wings.
It is found in Wet and Dry Zones,and is seen flying very low over small plants and grasses,alighting at times to feed.The tiny size,and the low-flying habit,has made it to be overlooked.
This speciesis,in several sub-species,show a wide range of distributin,being found throughout Asia,Africa and Australia.


13680729_1259925284047763_1840829246025891274_nZebra Blue(Leptotes plinius) -An example of adaptation
This small butterfly is a slow flying species that inhabits low shrubs and plants and is mostly seen in open spaces.Although it is more common in the Dry Zone,it is also seen in Wet Zone areas.
This butterfly lays the eggs on the flower-heads of the native White Plumbago or Ela-Netol.(Plumbago zeylanica)
The Zebra Blue is found in our home garden,despite being in an urban area.However,it is seen that this species lays the eggs on the exotic flowering plant Cape Leadwort(Plumbago capensis),which has light blue flowers and is a native of Africa.
The photograph shows a female depositing eggs on a tender inflorescence of this exotic plant.


13620277_1259151694125122_7681287237430557889_nRed Spot (Zesius chrysomallus)
This butterfly has short projections( tails) in the end of the hind-wing andhas red spots in the same area in the under-side.(the side seen when wings are closed).The male has two tails(shown here) while the female has three,with a longer middle tail.
The upper side of the wings(the sides shown when they are open) of the male is a bright orange-red while it is dull blue in females.
This species is often seen flying high at canopy level of small trees and is a fast flier.



Jagath Gunawardana


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