07 January 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Lesser Darkie

Butterflies Galore! 
The Lesser Darkie (Allotinus unicolor unicolor)

This relatively plain looking butterfly belongs to the subfamily Miletinae, whose caterpillars are known to be "carnivorous" in the butterfly world. These butterflies' caterpillars feed on other insects like mealy bugs, coccids, aphids and even ant larvae. The Lesser Darkie is the only reliably identified species of the genus Allotinus in Singapore. Butterfly-watching enthusiasts are encouraged to look out for the other similar-looking species and hopefully record some re-discoveries of the other species that have been known to exist here in Singapore before.

The Lesser Darkie is a dull brown above. The underside is greyish with brown-grey speckles and spots on both wings. The hindwing has a dentate appearance. The butterfly flutters weakly in the shady forest understorey, sometimes for long periods of time without stopping to rest. This shot of a Lesser Darkie was taken by ButterflyCircle member Koh CH at the end of 2013.