Home

 

 
Butterflies of Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo
Red Eye Skipper
Matapa aria  MOORE, 1866
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - HESPERIINAE
Tribe -
Matapa aria, Ulu Gerok, West Malaysia  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
Red eyes are a feature of a large number of Hesperiinae genera from various parts of the world, e.g. Lycas, Tisias, Carystus, Talides ( Peru ), Gangara, Matapa, Pirdana, Erionota ( Malaysia ) and Hesperilla ( Australia ). All of these butterflies are either crepuscular, i.e. flying mainly at dawn and dusk; or are found in the depths of the forest where little sunlight penetrates even in the middle of the day. They therefore need particularly acute vision and high sensitivity in low light. In the eyes of all Hesperiidae the distance between the cones and rods, and the sensory cells behind them is greater than in other butterfly families. This allows more light to spill onto neighbouring rods, which increases resolution and sensitivity. In the case of the red-eyed genera the distance between the cones and rods is such that only certain wavelengths of light are reflected back to the observer.
There are 8 Matapa species, all found in the Indo-Australian region. Matapa aria is the commonest and most widespread of these, being found in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The wings of Matapa aria are unmarked, and dark chocolate brown on both surfaces - the photo above depicts a faded example.
Habitats
This species is found in primary and secondary lowland rainforest.
Lifecycle
The larva is whitish, with noticeably wrinkled skin. It has a yellowish-brown head, slightly marked with black on the mouth. It lives within a shelter constructed by rolling a bamboo leaf into a tube, fastened together with silk. The larval foodplants are various species of bamboo - Bambusa and Ochlandra ( Poaceae ).
The chrysalis is formed within the larval shelter, and is attached by the cremaster to the silk lining. It is a very pale and glossy greenish-white colour, except for the eyes capsules which are red.
Adult behaviour
This species is usually encountered singly when attracted to house lights in the early evening. At dusk it can sometimes be seen nectaring at flowers. On the rarer occasions when it is seen in daylight it is usually quite reluctant to fly.
 

 

Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution

Anatomy

Lifecycle

Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles

Europe

Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia

Africa

Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books

Glossary

Links

Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images

X

X

X

X

 

All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host