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Common Name : Zebra Blue     -       Scientific Name : Syntarucus plinius       -       Other Name : Sabaru Neelaya (S)
Pukkulama
10/26/2014

This small butterfly with a striking pattern on its outer wings (verso) belongs to the Lycaenidae family. Other than in Sri Lanka it is also found in Australia and the Oriental region excluding the Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo 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.

This is a butterfly that I have seen through out the dry lowlands and up to the 1080 meters at Panwila in the Knuckles forest reserve. It is common in the wet zone as well. They are usually seen settled on moist soil or on animal droppings with other Lycanid butterflies. The photographed depicted here from Pukkulama is where this species is settled on some leopard droppings.

The host plants include the Ceylon Leadwort Plumbago zeylanica (Ela Nithol(S)), which is found at many locations at Wilpattu, Rhynchosia minima (Maha Wal Kollu (S)), Indigofera tinctoria (Nil Awariya (S)) and the exotic plant Plumbago capensis that is grown in most Colombo gardens as an exotic plant. I have seen this butterfly settling on this plant at home gardens at Kotte.

This is not a rare butterfly at Wilpattu but is seldom seen due to its small size. I have seen it at Borupan Pitiya, Pukkulama and at Kollan Kanatte.