Butterflies of the
Family - LYCAENIDAE
Tribe - POLYOMMATINI
female, Hambantota, Sri
There are 23 species in the
genus Chilades, distributed variously
from Africa and India to China, and south through from Malaysia and
the islands of south-east Asia to Australia.
Chilades includes one of the smallest known butterfly species
on Earth - the Madagascan Grass Blue Chilades
( Freyeria )
miniscula, which has a wingspan of only 9mm.
Chilades lajus is a very widespread and
common species, found from India and Sri Lanka to the Philippines.
Chilades lajus, male, Weligaththa,
Sri Lanka ©
This is a common species,
mainly associated with dry forest and acacia scrub on the lowlands.
The caterpillar is pale green with a series of broken dark lines on
the back, and a brown head. It is attended by ants which milk it to
obtain a sugary fluid secreted from a gland on the back. The larval
foodplants do not appear to be recorded ( larvae of other
Chilades species use a wide variety of
herbaceous plants ).
Chilades lajus, female,
Hambantota, Sri Lanka ©
Both sexes commonly nectar at
wild flowers including Tridax and various
Lamiaceae. They usually hold their wings erect when feeding or at
rest, but will sometimes bask with them held half open in cloudy