28 September 2013

Life History of the Large Snow Flat

Life History of the Large Snow Flat (Tagiades gana gana)

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Tagiades Hübner, 1819
Species: gana Moore, 1866
Sub-species: gana Moore, 1866
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 38-45mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plants: Dioscorea pyrifolia (Dioscoreaceae), Dioscorea orbiculata var. tenuifolia (Dioscoreaceae) and other Dioscorea spp.

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
Above, the wings are brown with obscure post-discal and discal spots in darker brown. On the forewing, there are three white hyaline sub-apical spots in spaces 6,7,8. On the hindwing, the tornal area is whitened and there are black marginal spots at the end of veins 2, 3 and 4, and in some specimens, another spot at the end of vein 1b. Below, the wings are similarly marked as per above but with the whitened area on the hindwing extended to the basal area and almost to the costal margin.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:  
This species is common in Singapore and can be found in the forested areas in the Central Catchment and Bukit Timah nature reserves, and several other sites across the island. The adults are rapid flyers and are more active in the cooler hours of the day. As is the case for the other Tagiades species, the adults have the habit of perching on the underside of a leaf between flights, and with wings opened flat. The adults are often seen visiting flowers for nectar.