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Common Name : Blue Mormon     -       Scientific Name : Papilio polymnestor       -       Other Name : Neela Parindaya (S)
Ibba Wala
12/31/2014
Ibba Wala
12/31/2014

This is one of the largest butterfly species in the country being only second to the endemic Ceylon Birdwing. Other than in Sri Lanka this beautiful Papilionidae swallowtail butterfly is only found in southern India.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012) and it is protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

It is an unmistakable blue and black butterfly, which changes its direction of flight quite often. The flight of the male is breathtaking with the metallic blue of its inner wings seen against the velvet black of its outer wings with each stroke of its wings.

The females of this species lay their eggs mainly on species belonging to flora belonging to the genus’s Citrus and Atalantia (Oranges, Lime & Lemon) such as Citrus grandis (Jambola), Citrus sinensis (Pani Dodam), Citrus reticulate (Heen Naran) Citrus aurantifolia (Dehi) and Atalantia zeylanica (Yakinaran).

I have never seen this species in the Mannar Island or in the Jaffna Peninsula. The highest altitude at which I have seen it so far has been in the Knuckles Forest Reserve at 1540 meters. I find it to be equally common in the dry, intermediate and the wet zone forested as well as well wooded areas. It is occasionally still seen in the city of Colombo.

These butterflies are often seen “mud sipping” or feeding on nutrients and minerals from damp places on the ground.

In Wilpattu it is a common species and can be seen throughout the year flying along the forested roads.