Tuesday, 18 October 2016

208. Taraka hamada mendesia (The Forest Pierrot)

Number: 208
Family: Lycaeniidae
Sub-Family: Miletiinae
Species: Taraka hamada mendesia Fruhstorfer, 1918
Common name(s): The Forest Pierrot
Photography location: Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

In Vietnam, the Miletinae subfamily is represented by five genera - Allotinus, Logania, Spalgis, Miletus and Taraka. This subfamily is unique in the sense that their caterpillars are predatory or "carnivorous" (preys are mostly Homoptera: aphids, coccids, mealy bugs) whilst it is generally well-known that most butterflies caterpillars are "herbivorous".

Taraka hamada looks similar to the Common Pierrot (Castalius rosimon) at first glance but you would notice that the spotting pattern is quite different in detail. And notice the unusually fluffy legs.

Taraka hamada mendesia, Tam Dao (900m asl), bamboo forest, 16th Sept. 2016

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