Thailand, Malaysia &
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - HYPOCYSTINA
Taman Negara, West Malaysia ©
Regrettably the popular name 'Nigger' was coined for this species in
colonial times, and can cause unintended offence, but in the absence
of an alternative we continue to use it here.
Orsotriaena comprises of a single
species medus. It bears a superficial
resemblance to Mycalesis species but on
the underside has only 2 ocelli on the forewing, and 3 on the
hindwing. The upperside is dark brown and unmarked.
This is a very
common and widespread species found from India and Sri Lanka to
Thailand, and south through Malaysia to Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi,
Timor, Papua New Guinea and northern & eastern Australia.
The Nigger is found in disturbed grassy habitats
including forest glades, roadsides and riverbanks at altitudes
The egg is shiny, spherical and straw-coloured.
It is laid singly on blades and stems of grasses.
The caterpillar when fully grown is a dirty
whitish colour, with a faint suffused dark stripe along the back.
The body segments are vertically wrinkled, and covered with tiny
tubercules. There is a pair of long pinkish caudal prongs projecting
backwards from the anal segment. The head is pale brown and bestowed
with a pair of long chestnut brown horns. The caterpillar feeds
nocturnally on Oryza sativa,
Saccharum officinarum and other
The chrysalis is
yellow, stained with brownish, and has a long horn extending forward
from the head. It looks rather like a tiny banana, and is attached
by the cremaster to the underside of a grass blade, or to a nearby
The butterflies are mainly active at dawn and
dusk, or on overcast days, but can be seen also in sunny conditions.