18 January 2014

Life History of the Chocolate Demon

Life History of the Chocolate Demon (Ancistroides nigrita maura)

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Ancistroides Butler, 1874
Species: nigrita Latreille, 1824
Sub-species: maura Snellen, 1880
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 42-50mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plants: Etlingera elatior (Zingiberaceae, common name: Torch Ginger), Hedychium coronarium  (Zingiberaceae, common name: White Ginger Lily, Butterfly Ginger), Zingiber officinale (Zingiberaceae, common name: Ginger), Alpinia aquatica (Zingiberaceae).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
Chocolate Demon is a relatively large skipper. On the upperside, the wings are dark brown and unmarked. On the underside, the wings are brown with marginal areas of both wings paler than the ground colour. The proboscis is particularly long compared to other skipper species.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
Chocolate Demon is moderately common in Singapore. The adults are typically found in parks, park connectors and gardens where one of its host plants in the Zingiberaceae is cultivated. The adults fly in an erratic and hopping manner amongst low shrubbery. They visit flowers for nectar, and puddle on birding droppings and other animal excretions.