Butterflies

It is possible to observe around 40 species of the butterflies listed below while on our birdwatching or wildlife watching tours, if special attention is given to them.

However, to find most of the butterfly species in the list it is necessary to organise a special butterfly watching tour by making some alterations in the given itineraries: by replacing and/or adding certain sites. There are a total of 242 species of butterflies (including Hesperids) recorded to date in Sri Lanka. This includes 20 species (excluding the Hesperids) which are endemic to the Island

When to watch butterflies in Sri Lanka: Butterflies can be watched throughout the year while on bird or wildlife tours. However there are two seasons where butterfly populations increase significantly.

Visitors who have a special interest in butterflies will find it is very beneficial to do bird or wildlife watching tours, or special butterfly watching tours, during one of these two seasons.

The table below shows a number of possible sites for each species and the number of chances available to try them on each itinerary


The list below follows the butterfly names and taxonomy in The Butterflies of Ceylon (1998) by Bernard d’Abrera.

Note: If the number of ‘chances’ for a species is more than the number of ‘sites’ this indicates that the possibility of finding that species is significantly high and thus it can be expected to be seen on most of our special butterfly watching tours . The species usually seen on most of our bird watching and wildlife watching tours are indicated with:#

E– Endemic to Sri Lanka
Species

 

Number of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1 Itinerary 2 Itinerary 3 Itinerary 4

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances
Common Birdwing –Troides darsiusE # 4 7 4 7 4 7 4 7
Crimson Rose –Pachliopta hector # 7 10 8 11 9 12 2 3
Ceylon Rose – Pachliopta jophon E 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4
Common Rose – Pachliopta aristolochiae# 5 8 6 10 5 8 3 5
Banded Peacock- Papilio crino # 4 6 5 7 5 7 2 2
Lime Butterfly – Papilio demoleus # 10 10 11 12 10 10 5 5
Red Helen – Papilio helenus # 5 7 5 7 5 7 5 7
Common Mormon –Papilio polytes # 10 15 11 16 10 15 5 10
Blue Mormon – Papilio polymnestor # 7 11 8 13 7 11 6 9
Mime – Chilasa clytia 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Bluebottle – Graphium sarpedon # 7 11 7 11 8 12 5 8
Common Jay – Graphium doson # 7 7 7 7 7 7 4 4
Tailed Jay – Graphium Agamemnon # 7 7 7 7 7 7 4 4
Spot Swordtail – Pathysa nomius 4 4 6 6 5 5 2 2
E– Endemic to Sri Lanka
Species

 

Number of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1 Itinerary 2 Itinerary 3 Itinerary 4

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances
Psyche – Leptosia nina # 11 18 13 20 11 18 7 14
Common Jezebel – Delias eucharis # 13 20 13 20 15 23 8 12
Painted Saw-tooth – Prioneris sita 2 2 3 3 4 5 1 1
Pioneer – Belenois aurota 3 3 3 3 4 4    
Common Gull – Cepora nerissa 3 4 3 4 3 4    
Lesser Gull – Cepora nadina 1 1 1 1 1 1    
 
Chocolate Albatross – Appias lyncida # 4 4 4 4 6 9 3 3
Common Albatross – Appias albina # 6 8 6 8 7 9 3 4
Lesser Albatross – Appias paulina # 9 13 9 13 10 14 7 10
White Orange Tip – Ixias Marianne 1 1 1 1 2 2    

Yellow Orange Tip – Ixias pyrene

3 3 3 3 3 3    
Great Orange Tip – Hebomoia glaucippe # 3 4 4 5 5 7 1 2
Dark Wanderer – Pareronia ceylanica 4 4 5 5 5 6 1 1
Small Salmon Arab – Colotis amata 2 2 3 3 3 3 1 1
Large Salmon Arab – Colotis fausta 2 2 2 2 3 3    
 

Little Orange Tip – Colotis etrida

1 1 1 1 1 1    
Mottled Immigrant – Catopsilia pyranthe 5 5 5 5 5 5 2 2
Lemon Migrant – Catopsilia Pomona # 13 22 13 22 16 28 6 13
Small Grass Yellow – Eurema brigitta # 7 9 7 9 8 11 5 7
Common Grass Yellow – Eurema hecabe # 6 8 6 8 7 10 5 6
Three-spot Grass Yellow – Eurema blanda # 6 7 6 7 7 9 5 6
E– Endemic to Sri Lanka
Species

 

Number of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1 Itinerary 2 Itinerary 3 Itinerary 4

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances
Tree Nymph – Idea iasonia E # 4 6 4 6 4 6 4 6
Blue Glassy Tiger – Ideopsis similes # 6 8 6 8 8 10 6 8
Blue Tiger – Tirumala limniace # 4 6 4 6 4 6 4 6
Dark Blue Tiger – Tirumala septentrionis # 6 8 7 9 10 16 2 3
Glassy Tiger – Parantica aglea # 6 10 7 11 8 13 3 5
Ceylon Tiger – Parantica taprobana E # 3 5 3 5 3 5 3 5
Plain Tiger – Danaus chrysippus # 11 18 12 18 14 24 7 10
Common Tiger – Danaus genutia # 10 14 10 14 12 18 6 9
Common Crow – Euploea core # 11 20 11 20 13 24 7 9
Double-banded Crow – Euploea sylvester 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
King Crow – Euploea phaenareta # 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
                 
Angled Castor – Ariadne ariadne # 3 5 4 6 3 5 1 1
Common Castor – Ariadne merione # 3 4 4 5 4 5 1 1
 
Rustic – Cupha erymanthis # 4 6 4 6 4 6 4 6
Leopard – Phalantha phantha # 8 12 9 13 9 14 5 6
Small Leopard – Phalantha alcippe # 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
Cruiser – Vindula erota 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Tamil Yeoman – Cirrochroa thais 3 4 3 4 4 5 1 1
                 
Indian Fritillary – Argynnis hyperbius 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Indian Red Admiral – Vanessa indica 5 6 5 6 5 6 5 6
Painted Lady – Vanessa cardui 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
E– Endemic to Sri Lanka
Species

 

Number of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1 Itinerary 2 Itinerary 3 Itinerary 4

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances
Blue Admiral – Kaniska canace 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Blue Pansy – Junonia orithya 2 * 2 * 2 *    
Grey Pansy – Junonia atlites # 12 25 12 25 14 30 7 15
Chocolate Soldier – Junonia iphita 6 6 6 6 7 7 5 5
Peacock Pansy – Junonia almanac 6 7 6 7 8 10 4 6
Great Eggfly – Hypolimnas bolina 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5
Danaid Eggfly – Hypolimnas misippus 6 8 6 8 7 9 5 5
Blue Oakleaf – Kallima philarchus E 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 *
Common Lasker – Pantoporia hordonia 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Common Sailor – Neptis hylas # 10 19 10 19 12 24 7 12
Chestnut-streaked Sailor – Neptis jumbah # 8 10 8 10 8 10 7 9
Commander – Moduza procris # 5 6 5 6 5 6 5 6
Clipper – Parthenos Sylvia 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Red spot Duke – Dophla evelina 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 *
Baron – Euthalia aconthea 5 6 5 6 5 6 5 6
Nawab – Polyura athamas 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Tawny Rajah – Charaxes psaphon 2 2 2 2 4 6 1 1
Beak – Libythea celtis 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Club Beak – Libythea myrrha # 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
Tawny Coster – Acraea violae # 7 7 7 7 8 8 6 6
Southern Duffer – Discophora lepida # 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 *
Common Evening Brown – Melanitis leda # 8 10 8 10 9 11 6 7
Dark Evening Brown – Melanitis phedima # 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Tamil Treebrown – Lethe drypetis # 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
E– Endemic to Sri Lanka
Species

 

Number of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1 Itinerary 2 Itinerary 3 Itinerary 4

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances
Ceylon Treebrown – Lethe daretis E 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Ceylon Forester – Lethe dynaste E 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
Common Tree Brown – Lethe rohria 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
Nigger – Orsotriaena medus # 8 11 8 11 9 13 5 7
Tamil Bushbrown – Mycalesis visala 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3
Dark-brand Bushbrown – Mycalesis mineus 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Common Bushbrown – Mycalesis perseus 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Cingalese Bushbrown – Mycalesis rama E 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
Gladeye Bushbrown – Nissanga patina 8 12 8 12 9 14 6 9
Common Palmfly – Elymnias hypermnestra 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5
Ceylon Palmfly – Elymnias singala E 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
White Four-ring – Ypthima ceylonica # 10 14 10 14 12 16 7 10
Jewel Four-ring – Ypthima singala E     1 2        
                 
Indian Sunbeam – Curetis thetis 1 1 1 1 2 2    
Ormiston’s Oakblue – Arhopala ormistoni E                
Common Acacia Blue – Surendra vivarna 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Yamfly – Loxura atymnus 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Common Silverline – Spindasis vulcanus 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Plumbeous Silverline – Spindasis schistacea 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Clouded Silverline – Spindasis nubilus E 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
Ceylon Indigo Royal – Tajuria arida E 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
Woodhouse’s 4-lineblue – Nacaduba
ollyetti
E
1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
E– Endemic to Sri Lanka
Species

 

Number of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1 Itinerary 2 Itinerary 3 Itinerary 4

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances

Sites

Chances
Pale Ceylon 6-lineblue – Nacaduba sinhala E 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
Common Lineblue – Prosotas nora 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
White-tipped Lineblue – Prosotas noreia E 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
Dark Cerulean – Jamides bochus 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
Ceylon Cerulean – Jamides coruscans E 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
Metallic Cerulean – Jamides alecto 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
Common Cerulean – Jamides celeno # 8 10 8 10 10 12 5 7
Common Pierrot – Castalius rosimon # 4 5 5 6 6 9 4 5
Banded Blue Pierrot – Discolampa ethion 3 3 4 4 4 4 1 1
Angled Pierrot – Caleta decidia # 5 6 6 8 6 8 3 3
Striped Pierrot – Tarucus nara 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1
Grass Jewel – Freyeria trochilus 1 2 1 2 2 3 1 1
Tiny Grass Blue – Zizula hylax # 6 7 6 7 7 8 3 4
Red Pierrot – Talicada nyseus # 6 7 8 10 8 10 4 5
Indian Cupid – Everes lacturnus # 8 9 8 9 8 9 6 7
Common Hedge Blue – Actyolepis puspa 3 5 3 5 3 5 3 5
Ceylon Hedge Blue – Udara lanka E 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Plum Judy – Abisara echerius 3 5 3 5 3 5 3 5
 
Brown Awl – Badamia exclamationis 1 2 1 2 2 3 1 2
Indian Awl King – Choaspes benjaminii 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 2
Common Banded Awl – Hasora chromus # 2 3 3 5 3 4 2 3
White Banded Awl – Hasora taminatus 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Tricolour Pied Flat – Coladenia indranii 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
Decorated Ace – Halpe decorate E 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 *
Rare Ace – Halpe egena E                
E 20 # 55