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Common Name : Common Jay     -       Scientific Name : Graphium doson       -       Other Name : Pralapani (S)
Lunu Wewa
11/14/2014
Lunu Wewa
11/14/2014

This extremely fast flying butterfly belongs to the Papilionidae family and is commonly found throughout South-east Asia. Other than in Sri Lanka it is found in India, China, Sunda Islands and Myanmar. Fourteen subspecies have been recognised and the subspecies that is found in the country is the nominate subspecies G. d. doson.

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.

I have observed this butterfly in the dry lowlands and the wet zone forested areas. The highest elevation at which I have recorded this butterfly has been at Sinharaja Forest Reserve at an altitude of 605 meters. In the north I have seen this species at the Veravil forest just below Punareen however I have never seen this butterfly in Mannar Island or in the Jaffna Penninsula. In the wet zone it often flys along with a butterfly known as the Blue Bottle from which it is usually difficult to differentiate in flight. However both these species often settles on mist ground to feed on minerals and nutrients (mud sip) and then he two species can be easily identified from the patterns on its under wings.

The female of this butterfly lays its eggs on flora belonging to the Annonacea family. In India and Singapore this species is known to breed on the “Ovila” trees Polyalthia longifolia commonly grown on the roadsides.

In Wilpattu this is a common species, which can be seen throughout the park. They rarely settle and are always on the wing. The best way to capture a photo would be to locate the males “mud sipping” where upon you can approach them close enough to take a ground level photograph.