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Small Salmon Arab

Colotis amata


It is a very active butterfly and may be seen on the wing during the hottest part of the day when all else is still. It flies close to the ground and flies fast with a continuous flapping of its wings, frequently settling on wayside flowers. Once settled, it holds its wings up at an angle and often drops them to cover much of the hind wind. Since it continues to fly during the hottest times of the day, it provides a good distraction when other butterflies have gone to roost. Its flight is not that strong, but somewhat troubled, giving the impression that it id confused, lost and desperate to find shade, but too stupid to recognize a shadow when it sees one. This illusion is soon shattered when it is threatened in anyway, for it is suddenly inspired to affect a most speedy exit, rising as it does to what must be for a weak creature, the dizzy heights of about 15 or 20 feet above the ground.


It is commonest in the two arid zones along the South East and North West coast of the island found in the hottest and driest parts of the low country, where it frequents coastal dunes and semi-desert waste places especially around Hambanthota and Puttalam districts. It is encountered year round but its population’s peak just before the monsoons. It also exists in other dry areas of the country though not in such large numbers.


The larvae feed on saltbush (Salvadora persica), Salvadora oleoides and thorny shrub (Azima tetracantha) belonging to Family Salvadoraceae. “Kegr salt” is obtained from the ashes of the toothbrush tree and camel fodder because of its high salt content.

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NuwanChathuranga 11 years ago

Thank you Liza and Debbie!

Debbie Stewart
Debbie Stewart 11 years ago

It is indeed a very pretty and delicate looking butterfly, nice photos Nuwan!

LizaFandino 11 years ago

Beautiful delicate butterfly!

Spotted by

Galkulama NCP, Sri Lanka

Spotted on Feb 9, 2013
Submitted on Feb 11, 2013

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