Indian Skipper
Spialia galba, Fabricius

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Indian skipper

A very small light brown skipper with prominent white markings on the upper surface. It is quite variable in size. The sexes are difficult to tell apart. On the upper sides of the hind wings, the median spots coalesce to varying degrees; in some specimens it is a continuous band. The dry season forms are very pale in colour.

Similar species

Status, distribution and habitat
It is a common skipper from sea level to about 4000 feet elevation and is found all year round. It inhabits open spaces with low growing vegetation, particularly places with species of Sida, which is its larval host plant.

It is a butterfly of the blazing sun and flies about at the hottest times of the day and will often settle on the hottest objects around. Once it stakes out an area, it remains there day after day, searching for mates or exploiting the food sources available in the vicinity. Its flight is rapid and low to the ground. It is easily disturbed though it will often return to the same spot within a few minutes. Once settled on bare ground it is hard to see. When it retires for the night, it settles on a more appropriate perch such as a grass stem or the twig of a small bush and folds its wings up, presumably conserving heat in its body.  

Early stages
The larva feeds Sida rhomifolia and other species of Malvaceae.

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