Thailand, Malaysia &
Dark-brand Bush Brown
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - MYCALESINA
Mycalesis is one of
the largest Satyrine genera, comprising of 88 known species, of
which 2 have yet to be given scientific names. The genus is confined
to the Oriental and Australian regions.
The butterflies are
instantly recognisable as a group, all being some shade of brown on
both wing surfaces, and marked with a series of conspicuous ocelli,
and a single straight median line across the underside of both
wings. Many of the species are very similar, but can usually be
distinguished from each other by close examination of the
configuration of the ocelli and submarginal lines.
Mycalesis mineus is found over most of
the Oriental region including in India, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka,
Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Korea, West
Malaysia, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, Kalimantan, Sumatra and
It produces wet
season, dry season and intermediate forms. The wet season form is
illustrated. The dry season morph is much paler, more uniform in
colour, and has the whole wing surface covered in fine dark
striations. Additionally the ocelli are much reduced in size, and
the median line is much thinner. The intermediate morph which occurs
in the seasonal transition is as might be expected, intermediate in
appearance between with wet season and dry season varieties.
This is a lowland species, found in open areas of
primary and secondary forest, including along riverbanks, roadsides,
railway tracks, clearings, gardens and other grassy places.
The egg is
spherical, pure white in colour and glossy. It is laid singly on
blades of grass.
The fully grown
larva is quite plump for a Satyrine, and is a drab brownish colour,
minutely dotted with dark brown. It is slightly hairy, and has a
pair of short pinkish caudal prongs. The thorax narrows considerably
to produce a narrow "neck". The head is dull brown, covered in very
short bristles, and adorned with a pair of short thorn-like horns.
The larva feeds nocturnally on various bamboo-like grasses including
Pogonatherum, Thysanolaena and
Oryza ( Poaceae ).
The chrysalis is of
the usual plump Satyrine shape, pale green, unmarked except for a
few black dots around the edge of the wing cases, and is suspended
by a stout cremaster from a stem or the underside of a leaf in the
vicinity of the foodplants.
The butterflies are active mainly in overcast
conditions. The flight is slow, bobbing and erratic, as is typical
Mycalesis mineus macromalayana,
Taman Negara, West Malaysia ©