Butterflies of the
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Odontoptilum angulata, ©
There are only 3 species in the genus
Odontoptilum, namely angulata
which occurs throughout the Oriental region,
pygela which is found from Thailand south through the Malay
archipelago to Java, and leptogramma,
which is endemic to the Philippines.
are characterised by their angular wing shape ( particularly
exaggerated in pygela ), and by their
characteristic resting posture, as illustrated above.
This species is
found in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Loas,
Cambodia, West Malaysia, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Sumatra,
Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Bali.
In Malaysia this
butterfly is found in open sunny forest glades, along roadsides and
riverbanks, and in other disturbed habitats at elevations between
sea level and about 500 metres.
egg is very pale brownish-white, dome-shaped, and vertically ribbed.
Adhering to it is a mass of fluffy pinkish hairs from the body of
the butterfly, which may give it some degree of protection against
the tiny wasps which often parasitise butterfly eggs. It is laid
singly on the upperside of a leaf of the foodplant.
larval foodplants include the herbaceous plants
Hibiscus tiliaceus and
Urena lobata; and also the trees
Ceiba - the latter being an enormous species which can grow
to 70m or more in height, and which has gigantic buttresses. All are
members of the Malvaceae.
The caterpillar is
white and has a very rough texture as a result of the numerous tiny
tubercules and vertical wrinkles on each segment. The thorax tapers
towards the head, which is dark brown and covered in pale bristles.
Behind the head is a band of dark crimson.
The chrysalis is
formed on the undersurface of a leaf, attached by the cremaster and
a loose girdle of silk strands. It is a beautiful object, pure white
in colour but marked on the back and sides with prominent rows of
large black spots, and on the wing cases with fine black streaks.
Either side of the thorax there is a bright orange tubercle.
butterflies are usually seen singly, flying rapidly along sunny
forest roads, or basking on low foliage. They often settle for long
periods but remain very alert. If disturbed they usually zip about
for a few seconds and then resettle several metres away on another
Males often settle on gravel, rocks or wooden boardwalks to imbibe
moisture; and I have also seen them feeding at wet bird droppings.
At these times, depending on how hot the day is, they either keep
their wings outspread and slightly down-curved, or hold them erect
and slightly apart.
Females are more
likely to be seen nectaring at flowers.
Manas, Assam, India
© Adrian Hoskins