Thailand, Malaysia &
FELDER & FELDER,
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - CHARAXINAE
Tribe - CHARAXINI
There are 24 species in the genus
Polyura, most of which are found in the
Oriental region, although one species
posidonius is restricted to Tibet and west China; 6 or 7 are
endemic to various islands, e.g. andrewsi
from Christmas Island and caphontis
from Fiji; and one, pyrrhus reaches
Queensland in Australia.
species occur in Malaysia -
The butterflies are
characterised by their distinctive wing shape with twin tails on the
hindwings, a feature strongly reminiscent of the African
Charaxes. Most have dark brown
uppersides with bands of dazzling creamy white which vary in size
and shape from one species to another. In the case of
jalysus the upperside bands are
yellowish and particularly large, while those on the underside are a
beautiful shade of pale emerald green.
Polyura jalysus is found in Myanmar,
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra,
Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan.
This species is found in forested areas at
elevations between sea level and about 300 metres.
I have no data regarding
jalysus, but the lifecycle is likely to be similar to that of
other Polyura species. The eggs will be
spherical, probably yellow in colour., and laid singly on the
underside of leaves of the foodplants.
when fully grown will be green, and probably marked with one or more
pale dorsal bands. As with other Polyura
species it will have a large head with a flat face, adorned with a
crown of 4 impressive long horns. The foodplants are likely to be
primarily members of the Fabaceae. The chrysalis will be green,
probably streaked or marbled with white, and will have a plump,
rounded and compressed abdomen. It will be attached by the cremaster
to a twig or stem on or near the foodplant.
Males are scarcer
than those of athamas, but can
sometimes be seen imbibing moisture from damp sand, gravel, or road
surfaces, often in the company of other
Polyura species. When feeding they are almost oblivious of
humans, but if deliberately disturbed they fly up to settle on tree
foliage nearby, and return as soon as they sense danger has passed.
The flight is very rapid and powerful.
Ulu Gerok, West Malaysia ©