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Common Name : Plains Cupid     -       Scientific Name : Chilades pandava       -       Other Name : Cycad Blue (E), Meewanasara (S)
Mahapatessa
12/13/2015
Mahapatessa
12/13/2015
Mahapatessa
12/13/2015
Nelum Wila
02/07/2015

This is a vey common Lycaenidae butterfly, which is also found in India, Myanmar, Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Java, Sumatra and the Philippines.

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.

I have seen this butterfly at most wooded home gardens localities in the wet zone where plants belonging to the Cycas genus are found including my home garden in Colombo. Else where in the wet zone I have seen a Dolukanda, Tangalle and Kotte marshes. 

As this species is known to occur only in the wet zone I was pleased when I found it at Wilpattu. As its native host plant Cycas  Cycas nathorstii  (Madu (S)) is very common in Wilpattu I looked for this butterfly despite all the authors on the subject stating that it occurs only in the wet zone.  In February 2015 I photographed one individual at Nelum Wila and December same year I found them in large numbers from Kudapatessa to Mahapatessa, “mud sipping” and settled on animal droppings. This probably is the first record of its occurrence in the dry zone.

It is not a common butterfly in Wilpattu.