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The Plains Cupid - Chilades pandava | by TARIQ HAMEED SULEMANI
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The Plains Cupid - Chilades pandava

The Plains Cupid, Chilades pandava, is a species of blue butterfly found in Indian subcontinent . They are among the few butterflies that breed on plants of the cycad family.


Male upperside is lavender-blue. Fore wing has the costa narrowly and terminal margin more broadly fuscous brown, the latter with in addition an anticiliary black line; cilia light brown transversely traversed close to but not at their bases by a dark brown line. Hind wing: costa narrowly fuscous brown; a sub-terminal series of black spots outwardly edged by a white line; the spot in interspace 2 the largest and inwardly crowned more or less broadly with ochraceous yellow; an anticiliary black line and the cilia as on the fore wing. Underside: greyish brown. Fore and hind wings: the following transverse darker brown markings on each wing, the markings edged on the inner and outer sides with white lines—a short bar across the discocellulars, a discal catenulated band, the posterior two elongate spots of which on the fore wing are en Echelon, while the band on the hind wing in bisinuate and is capped anteriorly near the costa by a round black spot encircled with white; the above are followed by maculated inner and outer subterminal bands, which on the hind wing are curved and more or less interrupted on the tornal area by a comparatively large round black spot ill interspace 2 and a smaller similar spot in interspace 1, both spots inwardly crowned with ochraceous; the white edgings on the inner side to both sub-terminal bands on the hind wing are more or less lunular. In addition on the same wing there is a subbasal curved row of four white-encircled spots, of which the anterior two and the spot on the dorsum are black, the other dark brown. Antennae black, shafts ringed with white; head, thorax and abdomen brown, the head and thorax clothed with bluish hairs; beneath: palpi, thorax and abdomen whitish.


Female upperside: brown. Fore wing: shot with blue from base outwards for a little over half its length down its middle, this blue irroration not extended to the costal margin; a slender anticiliary black line. Hind wing: a touch of blue iridescence near base; terminal markings much as on the forewing but the subterminal spots larger and not extended beyond interspace 6 ; in addition postdiscally there is a lightening of the shade of the ground-colour, between which paler area and the subterminal spots tho ground-colour assumes the form of a post-discal, short, transverse lunular band.


Underside of female as in the male, the markings slightly larger and more clearly defined. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen as in the male but slightly paler.


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Taken on May 28, 2011