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Butterflies of Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo
Broad-bordered Yamfly
Loxura cassiopeia  DISTANT, 1884
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - LOXURINI

Loxura cassiopeia cassiopeia, Ulu Gerok, West Malaysia  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The genus Loxura comprises of 2 very similar species atymnus and cassiopeia, both restricted to the Oriental region.
On the upperside of the wings both species are bright non-metallic orange, with the apical area dark brown or black. In cassiopeia the black also extends along the costa as a broad band. Both species could be confused with Yasoda pita, but on the upperside the latter has dark brown borders on both wings, and a narrow brown diagonal streak across the hindwings.
Loxura cassiopeia is found in Thailand, peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah and the Philippines.
Habitats
This species is found in primary and secondary forest at altitudes between about 100-800 metres.
Lifecycle
I have no data regarding the early stages of cassiopeia, but these are likely to be extremely similar to those of atymnus which are given below :
The egg is dome-shaped with numerous tiny shallow depressions, and purplish-white in colour. It is laid singly at the base of young shoots of Dioscorea ( Dioscoreaceae ), Smilax ( Smilacaceae ) and Solanum ( Solanaceae ). The slug-shaped larva is shiny olive green with whitish striations along the length of the back. There is a reddish suffusion along the lower abdomen and along the middle of the back. It feeds diurnally on the fleshy shoots but is extremely well camouflaged. Like almost all Lycaenidae larvae it possesses a Newcomer's gland on it's back, which secretes a sugary substance which is "milked" by ants. The ants by their presence offer in return a degree of protection against predators and parasitoids. The chrysalis is attached vertically to a stem of the foodplant and bears a remarkable resemblance to a partly opened leaf bud. The abdomen is bright leaf-green, with a broad band of marbled brown along the back, either side of the thorax, and around the edges of the wing cases.
Adult behaviour
The butterfly is scarce in Malaysia and infrequently observed. I have only seen it at Ulu Gerok, where I watched a male imbibing moisture from the surface of a rock at the edge of a small fast-running stream.
 

 

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