Zesius chrysomallus, Hubner

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Female searching for a location to lay eggs on Cassia auriculata.

A medium sized Lycaenid with a wingspan of 38-45 mm. The undersides of both sexes are similar - a light gray background with rows of light buff colored markings. The upper sides of the male is a uniform coppery brown or red with faint violet scales towards the base of the forewings. The violet scales are found more distally on the hind wing. The upper sides of the females are highly variable, with some specimens showing very little blue.

Similar species

Status, distribution and habitat
A widely distributed species below 2000 feet, but uncommon. Its habitat are lightly wooded areas and home gardens. 

It has a strong flight and remains in the middle or the upper layer of the canopy, only occasionally coming to the ground. Settled on a small tree or high bush, it basks in the sun in the early morning hours with its wings partly open. It is entirely disinterested in flowers, but is attracted to tree sap. The female is commoner than the male.

Early stages

Egg laying on Cassia auriculata near a colony of Red Ants

The females lay eggs on a wide range of plant species. A special requirement that must be satisfied by these plants is the presence of red ants (Oecophylla smaragdina ) to attend to the larvae.

Larval host plants: Cassia auriculata, Terminalia arjuna, Loranthus spp, Psidium guajava and Anacardium occidentale

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