30 March 2013

Life History of the Malay Tailed Judy

Life History of the Malay Tailed Judy (Abisara savitri savitri)

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Abisara C. & R. Felder, 1860
Species: savitri C. & R. Felder, 1860
Subspecies: savitri C. & R. Felder, 1860
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 40-50mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plants: Embelia ribes (Myrsinaceae), Embelia canescens (Myrsinaceae).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
Above, the wings are rusty brown with two diffuse white transverse stripes on the forewing, the inner one being more sullied and stretching from mid-costa to the dorsum before the tornus. The hindwing has a similar diffuse white postdiscal band. There are two black marginal spots in spaces 4 and 5 on the hindwing separated by an orange bar. A long, white-tipped tail is present at the end of vein 4 on the hindwing. Underneath, the wings are similarly marked as per above but are more distinctly coloured with bright shades of white in the stripes set against a ground colour of yellowish brown. The basal halves of the wings are in a paler shade of yellowish brown.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
The adults are moderately rare and are typically sighted in the forested areas of the nature reserves, and in a hill park where its host plant is growing in relative abundance. The timid and skittish adults are often seen perching on leaves with half open wings, turning and hopping from one perch to the next.