Thailand, Malaysia &
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI
Taxila is an anagram of another
Riodinid genus Laxita - it is common
practice among the less imaginative
taxonomists to create anagrammatical names for
new genera, if they are closely related to an existing one.
Taxila was erected to house 2 species
haquinus and dora
which differ from Laxita in that the
genitalia of the males are of a different shape. In order to
ensure that each species only breeds with others of its own type,
every species of butterfly has uniquely shaped genitalia - the male
key only fitting the correct female lock.
Any 2 or more species with the same design of genitalia must
therefore be very closely related, and so are placed in the same
genus. The reverse is equally true - any species that have
differently shaped genitalia will be unable to copulate with each
other, and so must belong to a different genus.
Taxila haquinus is widespread in
south-east Asia, being found in Assam, Myanmar, Thailand, West
Malaysia, Sumatra, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, Kalimantan, Palawan and
This species is found in primary rainforest,
often close to rivers or waterfalls, at elevations between about
The pale yellowish-green eggs are almost
spherical but slightly flattened at the base. They are laid singly
on the underside of a leaf of the foodplant.
when young is pale yellowish green with the darker green internal
parts visible through the translucent skin, which bears numerous
long setae. It feeds nocturnally, nibbling out tiny holes in the
leaves of its foodplant
Ardisia elliptica ( Myrsinaceae ) - an
evergreen tree known as shoebutton.
When fully grown it
is a dirty reddish colour, with suffused pale dots, and a thin
whitish dorsal line, edged either side with dark grey. On each body
segment, apart from the anal segment, there is a large fleshy
lateral protrusion, from which emerges a tuft of setae.
The chrysalis is
bright yellowish-green, decorated with many darker green spots, and
has tufts of setae emerging from each body segment. It is formed on
the under surface of a leaf.
are usually found singly, in shady areas of dense forest, close to
streams or rivers. The females have a habit of flitting from leaf to
leaf and stopping with half-opened wings whilst walking jerkily over
the leaf surface.
Taman Negara, West Malaysia ©