Thailand, Malaysia &
Family - HESPERIIDAE
The Hesperiinae are a vast subfamily,
characterised by their wide heads, large eyes, thick bodies, and
their habit of basking with their forewings held at a 45° angle, and
hindwings held horizontally. The caterpillars of all species feed on
monocotyledons - grasses, palms, orchids etc.
There are about 400
Hesperiinae in the Oriental region, of which 182 have so far been
recorded from peninsular Malaysia. Among these there are dozens from
the genera Salanoemia,
Taractrocera, Potanthus and
Oriens which share a similar upperside
pattern of broad yellowish-orange streaks on a dark brown ground
colour. Distinguishing these genera, and the numerous species within
them, relies on close examination of the configuration of the
markings on both wing surfaces, and reference to text keys and
Oriens the post-discal orange band is
united with the lower cell spot on the upperside forewing - a
feature which distinguishes them from Telicota
In Malaysia there
are 3 Oriens species -
and goloides. On the underside
hindwings paragola has a dark brown
ground colour. In both gola and
goloides this is replaced by yellow,
peppered finely with black. These 2 species can be distinguished by
reference to the veins, which are dark in
goloides and yellow in gola.
Oriens gola is found in India, Sri
Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, peninsular Malaysia, Borneo and
This species is found in sunny glades and
clearings in secondary forest and plantations, and along roadsides,
riverbanks and other sheltered grassy habitats at elevations between
sea level and about 400 metes.
The egg is dome-shaped, shiny and straw coloured.
It is laid singly on the upperside of leaves of the foodplants.
The caterpillar is whitish dorsally, suffusing
into pale green below the spiracles. The body segments are wrinkled
vertically, and densely covered with tiny tubercles, giving the skin
a rough texture. The head is pale yellowish-green, with a narrow
black diagonal stripe across each cheek. The foodplants according to
Corbet & Pendlebury are the grasses Imperata
and Paspalum ( Poaceae ).
The chrysalis is
formed within a tube constructed from a rolled grass blade. It is a
bright translucent green colour, with 3 thin white stripes along the
back. The eyes protrude slightly, and a white spike projects from
Both sexes can commonly be seen darting about in
the sunshine in grassy habitats, often settling on low herbage to
rest, usually keeping their wings held erect. In weak or hazy
sunlight they bask in the characteristic Hesperiine posture.
Bukit Tapah, West Malaysia ©