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Common Name : Plane     -       Scientific Name : Bindahara phocides       -       Other Name : Visihuru Dingu-penda Neelaya (S)
Demata Wila
08/19/2013
Demata Wila
08/19/2013
Demata Wila
08/19/2013
Demata Wila
08/19/2013

This small butterfly that belong to the Lycaenidae family is found in India as well. The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Endangered” (National Red List 2012) and it is protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

This is a rare butterfly that I have observed only on a few occasions in the filed. It has not been recorded from Wilpattu in the recent past. It is found in the lowlands in the wet and dry zone of the country and does not ascend the hills to any greater height than 900 meters. I have observed this butterfly in Kukuleganga at an altitude of 190 meters, Sinharaja 602 meters, Atweltota 172 meters and at Kitulgala at 252 meters.

The female of this butterfly is known to lay its eggs on Kothala Himubut Salacia reticulata and Heen Himbutu Salacia chinensis. The female lays its eggs on the fruits of their host plant, close to the stem, and the tiny caterpillar will bore a hole and enters the fruit to feed in safety. Once it has grown the larva will emerge from the fruit and will once again bore a hole in to the bark of a tree where it known to remain until its ready emerge as an adult butterfly.

On the 19th of August 2013 around 7.15am I arrived at Demata Wila in Wilpattu and observed a butterfly settling on the flowers of the Madan Tree at the campsite.  Having had a look through my binoculars I was thrilled that it was this rare species. Having fed on the flowers for some time the accommodating butterfly flew down and settled down on a plant almost at eye level permitting me to get some good images of this rare insect.