Thailand, Malaysia &
Family - LYCAENIDAE
Tribe - POLYOMMATINI
There are 7 species in the genus
Catochrysops, variously distributed
from India and Sri Lanka to Malaysia, and south across the Pacific
islands to Australia, New Caledonia and the Society Islands. The
genus is closely allied to Chilades and
Euchrysops but unlike them
Catochrysops does not include any
The male of
strabo is shining violet-blue on the
upperside, while the female is pale earthy brown, with a flush of
faint silvery-blue. Both sexes have a small black spot on the
upperside hindwing next to the tail, and in the female this is
marked inwardly with an orange crescent.
Catochrysops strabo is found from Sri
Lanka and India to Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and New
Guinea, but unlike the very similar C.
panormus it does not reach Australia.
This butterfly is found in forest clearings,
gardens, roadsides and forest edge habitats where the caterpillar's
foodplants occur. It is a lowland species, normally found at
elevations between sea level and about 800-1000m.
The larvae feed on
Leguminosae including Phaseolus,
and Ougeinia. They have
also been reported as found on
Schleichera trijuga ( Sapindaceae ) and
Desmodium ( Fabaceae ). In common with most if not all
Lycaenid larvae they are attended by ants, although the species has
not been identified.
This prettily marked little butterfly tends to
fly around shrubs and bushes growing in forest edge habitats, and
can be found in parks, gardens and along roadsides. It often visits
flowers, including Lantana, and can be
seen at rest on low foliage in sunlit areas.
settled the wings are held erect, and the hindwings periodically
oscillated, causing the short tails to wiggle. In conjunction with
the black & orange spot in the anal angle, this creates the illusion
of a false eye and a pair of false antennae. Furthermore,
immediately after settling the butterfly will often rotate to face
the opposite direction, which reinforces the back-to-front illusion.
The result is that when a bird attacks it expects the butterfly to
fly left, but instead it makes its escape to the right ( or
), leaving the bemused bird without a meal.
Kuala Woh, West Malaysia ©