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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Angled Sunbeam
Curetis dentata   MOORE, 1879
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - CURETINAE
Tribe -

Curetis dentata male, wet season form, Ultapani, Assam, India   Adrian Hoskins

Introduction
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 dentata is easily recognised due to the indentation in the copper patch on the forewings. Both sexes of the dry season form often have angled hindwings, but wet season and intermediate forms usually have rounded hindwings. This phenomenon also occurs in bulis, acuta and certain other Curetis species.
Curetis dentata is found in India, Myanmar, Thailand and south-west China.
Curetis dentata male, wet season form, Ultapani, Assam, India   Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This species inhabits rainforest and humid deciduous forest at elevations between sea level and about 600m.
Lifecycle
The larvae feed on Pongamia, Pueraria, Millettia and Sophura ( Fabaceae ).
Curetis dentata male, dry season form, Buxa, West Bengal, India   Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour
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.

Curetis dentata male, wet season form, Ultapani, Assam, India  Adrian Hoskins

 

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