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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Lime Blue
Chilades lajus  STOLL, 1780
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - POLYOMMATINAE
Tribe - POLYOMMATINI
Chilades lajus, female, Hambantota, Sri Lanka  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
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.
The genus 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  Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This is a common species, mainly associated with dry forest and acacia scrub on the lowlands.
Lifecycle
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  Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

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 weather conditions.

 

 

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