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Common Name : Tawny Rajah     -       Scientific Name : Charaxes psaphon       -       Other Name : Maha Kumaraya (S)
Kudapatessa to Mahapatessa
11/16/2014
Kudapatessa to Mahapatessa
11/16/2014
Kudapatessa to Mahapatessa
11/16/2014
Kombansanchai pooval
03/31/2014

This is one of the most sort after butterflies of the country by photographers. The female, which is rarely seen, is a strikingly beautiful insect. The Tawny Raja is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family and is also found in India, China, and Indomalaya towards Indonesia. Twenty-four sub species have been recognized.

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

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

Other than at Wilpattu I have seen this fast flying butterfly at Kiriella, Ambepussa, Sinharaja, Morapitiya, Kandy and Kitulgala in the wet zone, at Koslanda, Nilgala and Arankele in the intermediate zone and at Buttala, Wellawaya, Wasgomuwa and Yala national parks in the low country dry zone. The highest altitude at which I have seen it so far has been at Kobonilla in the Knuckles forest reserve at 1060 meters. The host plants of this species include Gas Keppetiya (S) Croton laccifer, Bombay Black Wood Dalbergia pseudo-sissoo (Bambara Wel (S)) and Kappetiya Croton aromaticus.

In Wilpattu this is not an uncommon butterfly and I have often seen males of this species settled on moist soil on the roads and flying off upon the vehicle approaching.