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Summary of Genera and species of Darts and Hoppers in Sri Lanka.
||Tellicotta colon amba
||Tellicotta colon amba
The mottled appearance on the under side of both wings is strikingly different from all other orange and black skippers. It can be distinguished from similar looking skippers by the following characteristics:
(a) a series of evenly spaced small dark coloured dots on the the outer margin of the hind wing.
(b) Male forewing upper side: Small rectangular orange spot on interspace1. Two conjoined large distinct orange spots on interspaces 2 and 3. Very rarely spots on interspaces 4 or 5. If found they are very faint and are offset towards the outer margin.
(c) Female forewing upper side: the background colour of the upper sides is black/dark brown and the markings on them are greatly reduced, making it look like a black skipper with some orange markings.
All 3 butterflies in this group are very similar in appearance to each other. On the upper side forewing, the males have a deep distinct black streak above vein 1. The orange-yellow markings in females are much reduced and the discal band is often broken up.
The spots on interspaces 4 and 5 of the forewing, the spots on interspaces 6 and 7 of the hind wing and, the presence of brown coloured veins separating the orange spots on the central band of the hind wing are useful characteristics in identification.
Indian Dart Potanthus pallida.
The yellow band in both sexes are very narrow and the spots on 4 and 5 are widely separated from both the discal and apical series. On the hind wing, there is a spot on interspace 7 but not on 6.
Male: The spots on the center of the hind wing are not divided by brown lines along the veins.
The orange-yellow markings are much reduced. The spots on the center of the hind wing are divided by brown lines along the veins.
Tropic Dart Potanthus confuscius
The smallest of the three darts and also the commonest. Spots 4 and 5 are of the forewing above joined to the apical series and the discal series. See other comments below.
Common Dart Potanthus pseudomaesea
The largest of the three species but also the rarest.
Forewing upper side: Unlike the Tropic Dart, spots 4 and 5 are not joined to the apical series.
Hind wing upper side: The spots on the median band are divided by brown lines along the veins, which is not the case with the Tropic Dart. There is small well defined spot on interspace 6, almost never present in the Tropic Dart. Sometimes a larger diffuse spot on 7 that is quite variable in size.
Male: Distinct sex brand on forewing interspace1. Spots 4 and 5 on forewing usually joined to the discal series.
Female: Spots of discal series broken up more than the male. Spots 4 and 5 on forewing usually not joined to the discal series or apical series. Spot on interspace 6 of the hind wing very small.
Common Dartlet Oriens goloides
Very similar in appearance to the Potanthus group but may be easily distinguished from all of them by the following characteristics.
(a) The orange-yellow spots on the upper side forewings are not placed along the discal area but at the center of the wing.
(b) The dark brown/black outer margin of the forewing is therefore quite wide and distinct.
(c) The apical series of spots of the fore wings above are located immediately above the spot in interspace 5 and are not offset towards the base of the forewing as in all of the Potanthus species.
Both species of this Genus are much larger than any species found in the Ampitta, Potanthus or Oriens genus.
Pale Palm Dart - Telicota colon amba
Male: Distinct sex brands upper side of the forewings commencing in the basal area and extending towards the apex of the wing. The veins on the submarginal area of the forewing is orange.
Female: Similar in size to the male. Orange spots much reduced on the upper sides. Much lighter than the female Dark Palm Dart in general coloration. The apex of the forewings are more pointed than in the female Dark Palm Dart.
Dark Palm Dart -Telicota colon lanka
Male: Much darker than the Pale Palm Dart as the name suggests. Sex brands are similar to those of the Pale Palm Dart. The veins on the submarginal area of the forewing is not orange in colour.
Female: Similar in size to the male. Orange spots much reduced on the upper sides. Much darker than the female Pale Palm Dart. The apex of forewings quite rounded.
Common Grass Dart - Taractocera maevius
Distinduished from all other darts by its dark straw coloured undersides, dark brown/black upper sides and small white markings.
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