07 July 2013

Life History of the Chequered Lancer

Life History of the Chequered Lancer (Plastingia naga)

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Plastingia Butler, 1870
Species: naga de Nicèville, 1884

Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 38-45mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plant: Caryota mitis (
Arecaceae; common name: Fishtail Palm).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
Above, the wings are brown with the forewing adorned with pale yellow hyaline spots in the cell-end and spaces 2, 3, 6 and 7, and a narrow yellow streak in space 1b. A series of interneural yellowish streaks is present in the hindwing. Beneath, the wings bear a striking pattern of black veins and whitish rectangular spots on a black background. The abdomen is black and white banded.

A Chequered Lancer sunbathing with partially open wings.

Another sunbathing Chequered Lancer giving a glimpse of its upperside.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
The Chequered Lancer is moderately common in Singapore. Sightings are rather frequent in nature reserves and in parks where its host plant, the FishTail Palm, is commonly found. The adults are fast flyers and are skittish when disturbed. They have been observed to visit flowers and sunbath in sunny weather, and to puddle on bird dropping.