Punchinello

Scientific Name
Zemeros flegyas
CRAMER, 1780
Specie in
Family

Introduction

This very attractive little butterfly, and its relative emesoides are the only two species in the genus Zemeros.

Zemeros flegyas is a common and widespread butterfly found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi and Bali.

Zemeros flegyas male, Chilapata, West Bengal, India
Zemeros flegyas male, Chilapata, West Bengal, India

Habitats

This species is found in forest edge habitats at elevations between 0-1800m but is most abundant between about 300-1200m.

Lifecycle

The egg is white, smooth, and laid singly on the underside of leaves of the foodplants Maesa chisia and montana ( Myrsinaceae ).The larva is ovoid and very flattened. Each body segment is rounded, giving it a corrugated appearance. It is pale green in all instars, and covered in short setae. The chrysalis is smooth and light green in colour, marked with small suffused dark spots and dashes. It is attached by a silken girdle to the underside of a leaf.

Adult behaviour

This butterfly is usually encountered in one’s and two’s in forest edge habitats, including roadsides and regenerating clearings. There is some evidence of possible lekking behaviour however, e.g. at Chilapata in West Bengal I found a group of 8 worn specimens of flegyas basking close together on foliage, all within an area of less than 1 sq metre. The same 8 individuals were still present at this spot 3 days later. Males sometimes imbibe moisture from the ground, but are usually seen when perched on foliage in their characteristic posture, with wings held half open and with the forewings canted forward.

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Butterfly of
Scientific Name
Zemeros flegyas
by
CRAMER, 1780
Family
SubFamily
RIODININAE
Tribe
N/A
SubTribe
N/A

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