Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Early stage of Colonel

Early stage of the Colonel (Pandita sinope)

Butterfly Description:
Wingspan: 45 - 60 mm

Colonel butterfly is uncommon in Singapore, usually found near to their host plants. Both sexes of the butterfly are looks alike with the brighter orange on male and darker orange on female. The post-discal and sub-marginal band are broader in the female.

The early stage of the Colonel (Pandita sinope) resembled closely to Colour Sergeant (Athyma nefte) and Malay Staff Sergeant (Athyma reta). The three species are likely to be closely related.

The Colonel is the sole representative of the genus.

Host plant Description
Family: Rubiaceae
Uncaria sp.

The host plant is not uncommon and found in several locations in the Central Catchment as well as some well wooded wasteland and parks.

Host plant: Uncaria sp.
Host plant with hook like structure between the leaves

Early stages Description:
Eggs of Colonel are usually laid singly on the tip of the host plant leaf. The entire early stage from egg to adult took about 28 days to complete.

Photo showing egg in live size view (top), close-up view (bottom left), and super close-up (bottom middle and right)

3rd instar larva, frass chain observed at the side of the leaf, where the larva usually rested. The larva head capsule even showing greenish substance, probably the frass sticked to the capsule when the larva constructing the frass chain.
3rd instar larva

4th instar larva

Early 5th instar larva
front view of the larva head capsule

5th instar larva - dorsal view

5th instar larva - side view and head capsule view

Mature 5th instar larva before pupation stage

Larva in pre-pupation stage

3 view of the Colonel pupa

2 view of the Colonel pupa, 1 day before emerging

2 view of the Colonel pupa, hour before emerging

Further reading:

  • The Butterflies of The Malay Peninsula, A.S. Corbet and H.M. Pendlebury, 4th Edition, Malayan Nature Society.
  • Butterflies of Thailand, Pisuth Ek-Amnuay, 1st Edition, 2006

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