Thursday, November 13, 2014

Common Tinsel (Catapaecilma major myositina)

"When I first came to this estate in 1889, this butterfly was plentiful on one field of tea. An adjoining chena was then cleared, and it entirely disappeared, and I never saw another specimen till August, 1915, when I took a male near Haldummulla kaddies. I have since obtained two more specimens from Haldummulla. I have never come across it in my travels, and the native collectors have never brought me a specimen, so it must be very rare, or local " - (Ormiston W., 1924)

"This butterfly very occasional caught by a few of the Ceylonese catchers in Kandy, from September to March along the road to Kurunegala near Galagedara(Woodhouse L.G.O., 1950)

"Today the one of the rarest butterflies in the country, and among the few specimens in collections, very few are in perfect conditions. I saw it every year between 1952 and 1956 in a certain spot in the Uduwattakelle, but on subsequent visits have failed to see it(d' Abrera B., 1998)

Common Tinsel seems to be a canopy dweller with local distribution - Hence the very few specimens and sightings probably in all climatic zones. Larva feeds on Terminalia sp. as per d'Abrera, Ficus religiosa (බෝ) as per Gamage R. (Gamage R., 2013) and Psidium guajava (පේර) as per Jayasinghe H.D. et. al. 2014. It has symbiotic relation with a Crematogastor ant and possibility is there that it feeds also on other plants when ants are present (Jayasinghe H.D. et. al. 2014http://www.slbutterflies.lk/Butterfly.php?cid=122)

References:
d' Abrera Bernard , 1998 The Butterflies of CeylonWHT Publications : Colombo.
Gamage R. 2013 An illustrated field guide to the Fauna of Sri Lanka Volume 1 Butterflies.
Ormiston  W., 1924 The Butterflies of Ceylon, H.W.Cave & Co., Colombo 1924, AES Reprint New Delhi, 2003
Woodhouse L.G.O. , 1950 The Butterfly Fauna of CeylonCeylon Government Press, Colombo, 2nd (Abriged) Edition.  1950.

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