13 March 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Suffused Flash

Butterflies Galore!
The Suffused Flash (Rapala suffusa barthema)

This fast-flying "Flash" is one of six species of the genus Rapala that is currently extant in Singapore. The Suffused Flash has a wide distribution, and can be found in urban parks, forested areas and back-mangrove habitats in Singapore. The male is orange-red above with broad black borders, whilst the female is a drab brown and unmarked. The underside is ochreous to pale buff brown, but can be distinctly yellow in some females.

The species is moderately common and in its preferred habitats, several individuals have been observed together e.g. Sg Buloh Wetland Reserve. Amongst the host plants that its caterpillars feed on are Talipariti tiliaceum (Sea Hibiscus) and Falcataria moluccana (Albizia). Its early stages have been recorded here. This female Suffused Flash was shot by ButterflyCircle member Sunny Chir.