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Common Name : Long-banded Silverline     -       Scientific Name : Spindasis lohita       -       Other Name : Digu-iri Ridee-neelaya(S)
Eluwankulama
06/11/2005
Eluwankulama
06/11/2005

This is a butterfly that belongs to the Lycanidae family. The deep maroon colour of this Silverline and the larger size distinguishes it from the others of its genus. The subspecies that is found in Sri Lanka is referred to as S. l. lazularia. Other than in Sri Lanka it is found in India, Sumatra and Singapore.

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

Except for the extreme north and the higher hills this species can be found in most parts of the country. I have photographed it at Sinharaja Forest Reserve in the wet zone as well as at Eluwankulama in the north.

As with most other species of its genus the catterpillers of this species have developed a symbiotic relationship with ants. These caterpillars are often found in the company ants and some times take shelter in the ant’s nests. The ants offer protection to the vulnerable larva and are rewarded by a surgery extract produced by the caterpillar.

The host plants are known to be Katuwala Dioscorea pentaphylla and Kottamba Terminalia catappa.

In Wilpattu I have seen this species at Hunuwilagama, Eluwankulama and Kali Villu.