Thailand, Malaysia &
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
There are 12 species in the genus
Ravindra, 11 of which occur on Borneo,
and 10 in West Malaysia.
"The genus is
remarkable for the occurrence of pairs of species of which one is
comparatively large and has secondary sexual characters in the male,
and the lacks secondary sexual characters and, in both sexes
resembles a dwarf female of the larger species."
Cowan, 1974 ).
The various species
all have long tails, and on the underside hindwings feature a
prominent pattern of black or brown markings on a white background.
The underside forewings are some shade of brown or orange, depending
on the species.
On the upperside
the males of most species are dark brown but this colour is almost
obscured by extensive metallic blue or purple scales. The females
lack the metallic sheen and are very dull by comparison, although
some such as theda and
niasica have patches of orange on the
forewings. Most species feature a large patch of white on the outer
area of the upperside hindwings.
Drupadia ravindra is the commonest and
the most beautiful of the genus. It produces several very attractive
subspecies such as boisduvalii from
Thailand, and caesarea from Nias - the
males of both of these have bright red patches on the forewings, and
hindwings covered in iridescent scales that change hue from
turquoise to sky blue depending on lighting conditions and angle of
The Common Posy is
found on mainland Asia from Myanmar to West Malaysia and Vietnam. It
also occurs on most islands in Indo-China including the Philippines,
Palawan, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Bali and Nias, but is not found east
of the Wallace Line ( an imaginary line described by the great
explorer and naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, which separates the
zoological regions of Asia from those of Australia and Papua New
This species, like other members of the genus, is
found in primary and secondary rainforest at altitudes between sea
level and about 600 metres.
According to Corbet
& Pendlebury the butterfly has been bred in Malaysia on
Albizia falcata and
Derris scandens. Larvae have also been
found on other Fabaceae including Saraca
and are attended by
ants of the genus Pheidole.
When fully grown
the larva is a very pale olive colour, and has a reddish brown
dorsal stripe which widens considerably along the middle segments,
forming a diamond shaped saddle.
commonly settle on tree foliage at a height of 2-3 metres.
When at rest they usually hold their wings erect or slightly apart,
and oscillate their hindwings, causing the tails to "wriggle", which
draws the attention of predators to the tail of the butterfly rather
than it's head, diverting the attack and often allowing the
butterfly to escape with nothing worse than a torn hindwing.
Drupadia ravindra moorei,
Taman Negara, West Malaysia ©