08 February 2014

Life History of the Malayan Five Ring

Life History of Malayan Five Ring (Ypthima horsfieldi humei )

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Ypthima Hübner, 1818
Species: horsfieldi Moore, 1884
Subspecies: humei Elwes & Edwards, 1893
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 30-40mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plant: Axonopus compressus (Poaceae, common names: Wide-leaved Carpet Grass, Cow Grass), Ottochloa nodosa (Poaceae), Kyllinga nemoralis (Cyperaceae, common name: White Kyllinga).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
On the upperside, the wings are dull brown in the female and greyish brown in the male. Both sexes have a large yellow-ringed ocellus in space 2 of the forewing, and two smaller yellow-ringed ocelli in spaces 2 and 3 of the hindwing. The male has a broad strip of greyish black brand in the forewing. On the underside, both wings are pale greyish to bluff brown against a whitish background, and are traversed by numerous fine dark brown striae. The forewing has a large, bi-pupilled, yellow-ringed subapical ocellus. The hindwing has five yellow-ringed ocelli in spaces 1b, 2, 3, 5 and 6. The pair of ocelli in spaces 2 and 3 are well separated, and the one in space 1b consists of two conjoined spots.

Upperside view of a female Malayan Five Ring.

Upperside view of a male Malayan Five Ring.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
The Malayan Five Ring is common in the nature reserves and surrounding vegetated areas. Adults are typically sighted flying low among vegetation in and around grassy patches. As with other Satyrinae members, the adults fly in an erratic and jerky manner. The adults visits flowers for nectar and sun-bathe with fully opened wings in sunny conditions.