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Common Name : Indian Sunbeam     -       Scientific Name : Curetis thetis       -       Other Name : Wisme-keeta (S)
Pukkulama
10/26/2014
Pukkulama
10/26/2014

This is an extremely fast flying Lycanid butterfly found in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Java, Philippines and Myanmar.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012).

This is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

The characteristics of the males and females differ significantly. The males are more commonly seen and are often visit damp soil. The colour of the inner wings of the male is a deep orange red with a black margin. The females are uncommon and they look quite different to the males. Their inner wings are brown with white centers. They rarely visit the wet grounds.

I have seen this species in the wet zone but not as plentiful as the drier parts of the country. Ritigala, Eluwankulama, Kalpitiya, Anawilundawa and Nawadankulama are some localities where I have seen this butterfly. The larva of this species feeds on plants belonging to the Fabaceae family and includes Kala/ Bokala Wel Derris scandens and Olinda Arbus precatorius. Both these species are quite common in Wilpattu.

This is not a commonly seen species in Wilpattu. I have seen it on a few occasions at Panikkar Villu, Pukkulama and at Kollankanatte.