Thailand, Malaysia &
Family - HESPERIIDAE
Iambrix salsala is
one of only 2 members of the genus, and is found in India, Sri
Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, south China, Hong
Kong, West Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei,
Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Java.
I. stellifera is not found in India or
Sri Lanka but otherwise has a similar distribution. It differs from
salsala in the configuration of the
white spots on the underside.
Iambrix salsala is
commonly found in open forested areas, along roadsides, and in
village gardens at elevations between sea level and about 600
The eggs are dome-shaped and pink in colour,
heavily dappled with reddish brown. They are laid singly on the
upper surface of leaves of the foodplants which include bristlegrass
Setaria barbata, cow grass
Axonopus, and bamboo
Bambusa. They have also been reportedly
found on Mimosa but this record must be
regarded as highly dubious as this is a legume ( Fabaceae ), and
caterpillars of Hesperiinae always feed on monocotyledons - grasses,
palms, bamboos, orchids, irises etc.
hatching the larva is bright orange with a black head, but it soon
changes to a shiny translucent yellowish-green colour. In later
instars it is pale green, peppered with dark green, and has a pair
of dark green lines along its back. The thoracic segments are
reduced in diameter, giving the impression or a narrow "neck". The
head is light brown with broad chestnut brown stripes on the cheeks.
Throughout its life
the larva lives solitarily within a shelter constructed from a grass
blade that is rolled into a tube and fastened with strands of silk.
It rests within the tube by day, only venturing out at night to
feed, or when it needs to construct a new shelter.
The chrysalis is
also formed within a grass tube, and is straw coloured, with pink
eyes. The tip of the proboscis projects beyond the wing cases.
Both sexes visit flowers for nectar, and usually
hold their wings slightly apart while feeding. They can also
commonly be seen at rest on grasses or low herbage, with their wings
held erect. In hazy conditions when temperatures are lower they bask
in the characteristic Hesperiine posture, with the forewings held at
45° and the hindwings held horizontally.
Iambrix salsala salsala,
Taman Negara, West Malaysia ©