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Butterflies of the Indian subcontinent
Fluffy Tit
Zeltus amasa HEWITSON, 1865

Family - LYCAENIDAE

subfamily - THECLINAE

Tribe - EUMAEINI

subtribe - IOLAINI

Zeltus amasa  Manas, Assam, India Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
There are several hundred Lycaenid species in the Oriental region, including about 270 members of the Theclinae, which includes amongst others, the Oak Blues ( Arhopala ), the Hairstreaks, and the long-tailed Hypolycaena, Jacoona, Suasa, Cheritra, Eooxylides and Zeltus species.
Amongst the latter group there are several south-east Asian species with underside patterns similar to Zeltus amasa. The upperside of amasa is dark brown with a powdery blue suffusion across the basal area of both wings.
Zeltus amasa is found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Palawan and Java.
Zeltus amasa  Manas, Assam, India Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This species occurs in lowland rainforest habitats at elevations between sea level and about 800m.
Lifecycle
The fully grown larva is green, and covered in a layer of short fine hairs. The foodplant is unknown, but larvae of the very closely related genus Chliaria feed on the flowers of orchids.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are usually seen in two's and three's. Males often sit on the foliage of bushes, and visit damp sand, particularly if covered in decomposing leaf litter. I have also found them feeding at bird droppings on the forest floor. In dappled sunlight they bask on bushes or saplings, with their wings fully outspread, displaying the intense reflective powder-blue scales which cover the basal area of the forewings and the distal area of the hindwings.

Zeltus amasa  Manas, Assam, India Adrian Hoskins
 

 

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