19 June 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Lesser Darkwing

Butterflies Galore!
The Lesser Darkwing (Allotinus unicolor unicolor)

This Miletinae appears to be the only species of the genus Allotinus left extant in Singapore, although several other species were recorded by the early authors. Thus far, we have not been able to reliably ascertain if the other species are still lurking around in our forests, except for this Lesser Darkwing. As the "carnivorous" caterpillars of this species feed on coccids, aphids and mealy bugs, they are not associated with any particular host plant and hence can be very widely distributed where their caterpillar food source is available.

This Lesser Darkwing was shot by ButterflyCircle member Loke PF. The butterfly shows its typical perching pose, its long legs lifting the butterfly up from its perch in a proud stance. Its forelegs are usually folded against its thorax, giving the perception that the butterfly has got only 4 legs, rather than 6!