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Common Name : Yellow Orange Tip     -       Scientific Name : Ixias pyrene       -       Other Name : Padu Ramba Thuduwa (S)
Kali Villu
Kali Villu

This is a butterfly that belongs to the Pieridae family. Other than in Sri Lanka it is also found in India. The following five subspecies have been recognized. Dakhan Yellow orange-tip I. p. sesia, West Himalayan Yelow Orange-tip I.p. kausala East Himalayan Yellow Orange-tip I. p.familiaris Andaman Yellow Orange-tip I.p. andamana and Ceylon Yellow orange-tip I.p cingalensis.

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 species from about Anawilundawa on the west coast up to Jaffna and also in other dry zone areas in the south such as Udawalawa, Yala, Bundala, Kumana and Lunugamvehera National parks. The highest altitude at which I have seen this species is at 600 meters in Ilukkumbura.

This is a common butterfly but difficult to photograph. It is a very fast flyer and will quickly disappear in to thorny scrubs if it senses the slightest danger. However it would often settle on low branches for the night and would open its wings, like many butterflies, during morning hours to absorb the rays of the sun for a short time prior to commencing its flight. It is most active during the mid day heat where it will visit flowers for nectering. I have also observed these butterflies in the company of the Lesser Albatross and Common Gulls mud sipping on damp spots and on edges of puddles of water.

The host plants on which the females of this species lay their eggs belong to Capparaceae genus, which is found in Wilpattu such as Wellangiriya Capparis brevispinia and Capparis grandis and Capparis sepiaria.

In Wilpattu this species can be seen in the open areas from through out the park.  I have seen it at Hunuwilagama, Maradanmaduwa, Kali Villu, Mullikulam, Pomparippu, and close to Ochachappukallu.