Thailand, Malaysia &
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Ringlet, Cameron Highlands, West Malaysia ©
Butterflies in the
genus Celaenorrhinus are known as
'flats' due to their habit of resting with their wings outspread and
flattened against a leaf or other substrate. Many of the species
have a pattern of hyaline 'windows' in the forewings, and some such
as the beautiful African species galenus
are marked with bands or blotches of almost luminous golden-orange.
The genus is
widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, with 24
species found in the neotropics including 5 which reach as far north
as Mexico; 45 species in Africa, and 51 species in the Oriental
region including 11 found on peninsular Malaysia.
Celaenorrhinus aurivittatus a localised
but not particularly uncommon species which is found from Assam and
Myanmar to Thailand, Malaya, Laos, Vietnam and south China. Until
recently cameroni was considered to be
a subspecies of aurivittatus, but it
was separated by Devyatkin in 1998 and is now considered to be a
full species. It appears to be restricted to the hill forests of
Thailand and West Malaysia.
is found in open areas within temperate and subtropical humid
forests at altitudes between about 400-1200m.
I have no data
relating to aurivittatus or
cameroni but the following is
applicable to the genus Celaenorrhinus
in general :
The eggs are
typically large, dome-shaped, greenish in colour, and laid singly
on the underside of leaves of trees and shrubs in the family
After hatching the
caterpillar eats its eggshell and then constructs a cell made from
folding over a piece of leaf and fastening it with silk. After each
moult it constructs a new cell, and when larger it uses a pair of
leaves sealed together with numerous silk strands. It lives and
feeds within these cells for it's entire life.
If the leaf cell is
opened the caterpillar defends itself by arching its front quarters
over its back and splaying its legs, thus creating the illusion that
it is not a harmless caterpillar but an aggressive ant.
When fully grown a
Celaenorrhinus caterpillar is typically
translucent dark green, covered in very short whitish hairs, and
with a large dark coloured head.
place in a newly formed cell constructed from living foliage or dead
leaf litter. The pupae are typically cylindrical, widest at the
thorax, tapering towards the head and gently towards the rear.
The adults have an extremely rapid flight,
twisting and turning evasively before eventually settling under the
leaves of ferns and other vegetation. They prefer to fly in hot
sunny conditions, but in cool and overcast conditions are still
remarkably alert and capable of very rapid manoeuvres.