Wednesday, 15 July 2015

2. Tagiades menaka menaka (The Spotted Snow Flat)

Number: 2
Family: Hesperiidae
Sub-Family : Pyrgiinae
Species: Tagiades menaka menaka (Moore, [1866]) 
Common name(s): The Spotted Snow Flat, The Dark-Edged Snow Flat
Photography location: Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

Tagiades butterflies are popularly known as Snow Flats because of the pure white patches on the hindwings of many species, and the flat resting posture. The genus comprises 17 known species. According to Monastyrskii & Devyatkin (2016), 7 are currently known in Vietnam: japetus, gana, parra, litigiosa, menaka, cohaerens hybridus - the last one described from central VN in 2001.

Menaka, litigiosa, parra, hybridus and cohaerens show in both sexes large white tornal area of HW reaching space 4, unlike japetus and ganaMenaka and cohaerens are very similar (both have an additionnal postdical blackish spot in space 1b of HW), but in the latter FW spot 3 absent + abdomen banded black & white.

With Tagiades litigiosaT. menaka is one of the Pyrginae species I encountered the most in my habitual butt hunting grounds around Hanoi.

Tagiades menaka from Tam Dao (600m asl, October 2016)

Individual feeding on bird droppings (Tam Dao, 100m asl, August 2013)

Worn specimen resting on a leaf (Tam Dao, 600m asl, August 2016)

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