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Common Name : Malayan     -       Scientific Name : Megisba malaya       -       Other Name : Malalini
Kumbuk Wila Summer Hut
04/27/2014
Kumbuk Wila Summer Hut
04/27/2014
Kumbuk Wila Summer Hut
04/27/2014

This is a tiny butterfly that belongs to the Lycaenidae family. Other than in Sri Lanka it is native to India, Myanmar, Nicobar and Andaman Islands. Three sub species have been recognized. M.m. presbyter is found in central and south Nicobar Islands whereas M.m. sikkima occur from Kumaon to Myanmar and Andaman Islands. The third subspecies, M.m.thwaites is found in Sri Lanka and South India up to Bengal.

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 seen this butterfly through out the country in all zones except for the higher hills. The highest altitude at which I have seen it is at 1480 meters close to Haputale.  

The females are known to lay their eggs on two species of plants referred to in Sinhala as Bulu Peththa Mallotus eriocarpus and Kobbe Alophylus cobbe.

This is a common species that is found through out Wilpattu. It has a weak fluttering flight and will fly very close to the ground. I have often seen this species settled at damp places on the road within the park in the company of another similar species referred to as the Quaker. Photographing this butterfly is quite a challenge as, ideally, one needs to be lying flat on the ground to be able to capture the tiny insect.