06 December 2014

Life History of the Dark Brand Bush Brown

Life History of the Dark Brand Bush Brown (Mycalesis mineus macromalayana)

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Mycalesis Hübner, 1818
Species: mineus Linnaeus, 1758
Subspecies: macromalayana Fruhstorfer, 1911
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 40-45mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plants: Axonopus compressus (Poaceae, common names: Wide-leaved Carpet Grass, Cow Grass), Paspalum conjugatum (Poaceae, common names: Buffalo Grass, Hilo Grass).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
On the upperside, the wings are dark greyish  brown with a large but obscure ocellus in space 2 of the forewing, and rarely any ocellus on  the hindwing. The male has a small, dark brown sex brand in space 1b of the forewing, and another one at vein 7 of the hindwing overlaid with a pale yellow hair tuff. On the underside, both wings are paler brown in ground colour and have a clear-whitish post-discal band. There is a series of ringed ocelli in the submarginal area on both wings. In the forewing, the submarginal ocelli usually include only one ocellus in each of spaces 2 and 5, with the former being much larger.  In the hindwing, there is a thin, dark indentation line  stretching down to (but not beyond) vein 1b. Furthermore, the  lower 4 ocelli in the hindwing (in spaces 1b, 2 and 3) are more or less aligned.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
The Dark Brand Bush Brown is a common butterfly in Singapore. Adults are typically sighted flying in and around grassy patches at multiple locations across the island. As with other Satyrinae members, the adults fly in an erratic and jerky manner as their wings are closed for a relatively long period during flights.