Ceylon Treebrown
Lethe daretis, Hewitson

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Ceylon Tree Brown

Wingspan of 50-60 mm. A medium-sized, dark brown satyr. The female is larger than the male. The upperside of the female has a yellow band across the center of the forewing and a well-defined set of large eye-spots on the hind wing. In the male, the yellow band is absent, and the eye-spots are smaller. The undersides are similar in both sexes. The Ceylon Tree Brown can be distinguished from all other similar looking species by the eye-spots on the underside of the hind wing - there are six eye-spots which are similar in size, shape and color pattern.

Similar species
Tamil Tree Brown and Common Tree Brown.

Status, distribution and habitat
It occurs from 4000 feet elevation up to the highest hills and is common all year round. It is a resident of the bamboo forests, and is commonly encountered around Nuwara Eliya and Horton Plains. .

This butterfly spends most of its time in the understory and edges of forests and is most frequently seen in the early morning and evening. It is shy and retiring and will fly into a thicket when alarmed or threatened. Its flight is medium paced, irregular and short lived - it often settles abruptly on a low bush or leaf litter. It is difficult to see, especially when settled on leaf litter, because the colors and patterns on the underside blend well with the background. It can be approached closely, especially when it is glued to one of its favorite foods such as rotting fruit. Like others in its group, it does not nectar or mud-sip and depends entirely on decaying materials for its nourishment. It is fond of basking in the early morning sun and frequently selects a rocky outcrop on which to sit and spread its wings.

Early stages
The larva feeds on Bamboo.

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