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Common Name : Dark Grass Blue     -       Scientific Name : Zizeeria karsandra       -       Other Name : Neela Kasandra (S)
Kali Villu
08/31/2013
Kali Villu
08/31/2013

This tiny Lycaenidae butterfly is found in the southern Mediterranean countries, India, Sri Lanka, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Phillipines, New Guinea and northern and eastern Australia. 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.

Other than at Wilpattu I have seen this species at Dolukanda, at Hakwatunawewa in Kahalla, Mannar and Arippu where they are very common in the fields surrounding the “Doric”.

This is a tiny butterfly that is generally active during strong sunlight and flys very close to the ground and feeds on the tiniest of flowers.

The female lays eggs on a small plant referred to as “Koora Thampala” Amaranthus viridis.

In Wilpattu I have observed this species at “Borupan Pitiya” and at the Kali Villu bungalow premises.

The photos depicted here were taken at the Kali Villu bungalow where one is permitted to be off the vehicle. To capture photographs of these tiny fast flying butterflies one needs to be ideally armed with a 100mm or 150mm macro lens and be ready to lie flat on the ground as they generally perch on the ground or on plants which are only few inches from the ground. Upon detecting this butterfly, follow it until it settles on a twig to rest or on a small flower to feed. The moment it becomes stationary quickly lie flat on the ground as close as possible to the butterfly without disturbing it and click before it moves to another flower.