Butterflies of the
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - CURETINAE
male, Ultapani, Assam, India
The genus Curetis comprises of 18 known
species variously distributed from India and Sri Lanka to China,
Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Papua
New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
The butterflies are known as Sunbeams, due to the brilliant metallic
coppery-red uppersides of the males, which glint in the sunshine.
Females are earthy brown with large suffused white patches on the
upperside, and can easily be mistaken in flight for small Pierids.
The undersides of all species are silvery-white and in most species
are devoid of markings.
Curetus bulis can be recognised from
the underside by the diagonal line running from the apex of the
forewing, aligning with the upper cluster of fasciae on the
hindwing. On the upperside it has a distinctively shaped coppery
patch on the hindwing. Both sexes of the dry season form often have
angled hindwings, but wet season forms have rounded hindwings. This
phenomenon also occurs in dentata,
acuta and certain other
Curetis bulis is found in north-eastern
India, Myanmar, Thailand and peninsular Malaysia.
This species inhabits rainforest and humid deciduous forest at
elevations between sea level and about 800m.
The larvae feed on Pongamia,
Millettia and Sophura ( Fabaceae
Males are usually encountered in one's and two's, perching on the
foliage of trees or bushes in light gaps where sunlight penetrates
though breaks in the forest canopy. They also sometimes settle on
the forest floor to imbibe mineralised moisture. Females are more
commonly seen in flight around bushes and herbaceous plants in
forest edge habitats.