Thailand, Malaysia &
Cirrochroa emalea emalea
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - VAGRANTINI
The genus Cirrochroa
comprises of 18 species, of which 15 occur in the Oriental region,
plus 2 on Papua New Guinea, and one on the island of Biak.
In the Malaysian
species orissa and
satellita the butterflies are blackish
brown above, with broad bands of yellowish orange. The other 4
Malaysian species surya,
and emalea are predominantly bright
orange, with the apex and wing borders marked in black. All of these
species have a very pale brownish undersurface, marked with a
whitish transverse band on both wings.
Cirrochroa emalea is a common species,
although usually only encountered in one's and two's at most
localities. During migrations however the butterfly can be seen in
much higher numbers.
The butterfly is
found on peninsular Malaya, Thailand, Sumatra, Borneo, Java and
This species occurs in forest edge habitats at
elevations between sea level and about 800 metres.
The only information I have about the lifecycle
is that the larvae have short, branched spines, and that at least
one Cirrochroa species feeds on
Hydnocarpus ( Achariaceae ).
The Malay Yeoman has a rapid but graceful flight,
circling and gliding in areas of dappled sunlight, before settling
on foliage, usually at a height of about 2 metres.
Males can sometimes also be seen imbibing
moisture from forest tracks. At such times they are decidedly
fidgety, fanning their wings nervously, and flitting from spot to
spot. The male depicted in the photograph above spent over half an
hour flitting back and forth between a log and a patch of moist soil
nearby, and despite being regularly disturbed by a pair of
camera-wielding entomologists it was extremely reluctant to move
away from it's favoured patch of ground.
Cirrochroa emalea emalea,
Ulu Gerok, West Malaysia ©