22 March 2014

Life History of the Pale Grass Blue

Life History of the Pale Grass Blue (Zizeeria maha serica)

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Zizeeria Chapman, 1910
Species: maha Kollar, 1844
Subspecies: serica C. Felder, 1862
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 20-25mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plant: Oxalis corniculata (Oxalidaceae, common names: Creeping Wood Sorrel, Yellow Wood Sorrel), Oxalis barrelieri (Oxalidaceae, common names: Barrelier's woodsorrel, lavender sorrel).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
On the upperside, the male is light blue with broad dark blue border on both wings, whilst the female is dark greyish blue. On the underside, both sexes are pale greyish brown. Both wings have a cell-end bar and a spot in the cell, as well as a post-discal band of dark rounded spots. Both wings also have a submarginal series of pronounced spots flanked with v-shaped striae.

Field Observations:
Pale Grass Blue was discovered in Singapore in 2001 and has since become a common species. It was most probably introduced by human agency. The adults can be found in urban parks, grasslands and even in residential compounds and university campuses. The adults have a weak fluttering flight, and are usually spotted in the vicinity of its host plant, Yellow Wood Sorrel, or visiting flowers of various plants for nectar.