30 May 2015

Life History of the Philippine Swift

Life History of the Philippine Swift (Caltoris philippina )

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Caltoris Swinhoe, 1893
Species: philippina Herrich-Schäffer, 1869
Sub-species: philippina Herrich-Schäffer, 1869
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 30-34mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plants: Bambusa_heterostachya (Poaceae; common name: Malay Dwarf Bamboo), Bambusa vulgaris (Poaceae, common names: Common bamboo, Buloh Minyak, Buloh Kuning).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
The forewing is distinctly excavate at vein 2. On the upperside, the wings are dark brown. The forewing does not have any cell spots, but  there are  hyaline spots in spaces 2,3 and 4, subapical spots in spaces 6 and 7.  In addition,  the male has a pale yellow spot in the lower half of space 1b of the forewing. On the underside, the wings are unicolourous with a strong greenish tinge.

A male Philippine Swift with partially opened wings, showing the lack of forewing cell spots.

A male  Philippine Swift with partially opened wings, showing the arrangement of spots on the forewing upperside.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
The Philippine Swift is rare in Singapore. Sightings typically took place in nature reserves or wastelands where clumps of bamboo are growing in the vicinity. The adults are usually seen perching on a leaf in a shady environment. At times, they have been observed to puddle on bird droppings.