Thailand, Malaysia &
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - SATYRINA
The genus Ypthima
comprises of 108 currently described species. 16 of these are
restricted to the Afrotropical region; one is found only in
Australia and Papua New Guinea; and the remainder are mostly found
in various parts of the Oriental and south-east Holarctic regions.
Additionally there is a single very wide-ranging species
asterope, which is found in sub-Saharan
Africa, Arabia, Turkey, Lebanon, and on the Indian sub-continent.
The butterflies are
instantly recognisable as a group, all being marked with fine
striations on the underside, and possessing a submarginal series of
yellow-ringed black ocelli.
There are 9 species
found in Malaysia ( including Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo ), the
commonest of which is Ypthima pandocus,
which has 3 ocelli on the underside hindwings - hence its name, the
illustrated here was at one time thought to be a subspecies of the
Common Five-ring Ypthima baldus, and
was given the name Ypthima baldus humei.
Entomologists later decided that the Malaysian race of this
butterfly should be transferred to another species, and gave it the
name of Ypthima horsfieldii humei. Note
that although baldus is called a
'Five-ring', it actually has 6 rings, as does
horsfieldii, but the 2 rings nearest the tornus are
Ypthima horsfieldii is found from
peninsular Malaysia to Borneo and Java.
This species is found in grassy forest edge
habitats and secondary growth, at elevations between sea level and
about 400 metres. It is replaced in more open grassland by
Ypthima baldus, in which the ocelli are
The eggs are laid singly on the upperside of
blades of grass. They are globular, slightly flattened at the base,
bluish-white in colour, and covered in numerous minute depressions.
when fully grown is a very pale pinkish brown colour, with a series
of darker and lighter stripes along the back and sides. Each body
segment is covered in tiny tubercules arranged in vertical rows,
giving the caterpillar a very rough texture. The head is also
covered in tubercules, and bears a pair of very short horns. The
anal segment bears the usual Satyrine caudal prongs.
The chrysalis is
slightly squarish in cross-section, and is earthy brown, with darker
wing cases. It is suspended by the cremaster from grass stems or
Both sexes prefer
flying in overcast weather, and are not averse to flying in light
rain. They can be found basking on leaf litter or low herbage, but
are quite nervous in behaviour; and if disturbed tend to spend a
considerable time fluttering about close to the ground before
Ypthima horsfieldii humei,
Kuala Woh, West Malaysia ©