23 November 2013

Life History of the Copper Flash

Life History of the Copper Flash (Rapala pheretima sequeira)

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Rapala Moore, 1881
Species: pheretima Hewitson, 1863
Subspecies: sequeira Distant, 1885
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 31-35mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plants: Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae, common name: Mango), Hibiscus tiliaceus (Malvaceae), Syzygium zeylanicum (Myrtaceae), Mallotus paniculatus (Euphorbiaceae, common name: Turn-in-the-wind) and Saraca thaipingensis (Fabaceae, common name: Yellow Saraca).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
On the upperside, the male is mostly dark reddish brown, and the female is dull steely blue. On the underside, both sexes are pale brown. Both wings have a broad cell-end bar and a brown post-discal band which is whitened on the outer side. The forewing has a spot in the middle of the forewing cell (which could be absent in some females). The hindwing has a black marginal spot in space 2 and another on the tornal lobe. Between the two spots, the marginal area in space 1b is covered with bluish scaling. There is a white-tipped tail at the end of vein 2. The legs are white and black-banded.

Field Observations:
This species is moderately common in Singapore and can be found in serveral urban parks and nature reserves. The adults are fast flyers and make rapid sorties among foliage. Both sexes have been observed to visit flowers of various plants for nectar.