Capila phanaeus lalita  (Doherty, [1886])

Capila phanaeus decoloris ♂ Up. Capila phanaeus decoloris ♂ Un. Capila phanaeus decoloris ♀ Up. Capila phanaeus decoloris ♀ Un.
♂, Nan, Thailand. ♀, Nan, Thailand.
Capila phanaeus decoloris ♂ Up. Capila phanaeus decoloris ♂ Un.
♂, Bolikhamxai, Laos.

ON : Erionota lalita Doherty, [1886]
OD : J. asiat. Soc. Bengal. Pt.2, 55(3):263-265.
TL : Lushai Hills. (♂, NHML)
Distribution : Manipur, N.Thailand, N.Laos.
● ssp.lalita ssp.flora
ssp.fulva ssp.decoloris
ssp.falta ssp.ferrea
unclear (fulva or falta)
Capila phanaeus lalita map

Type Material Information

lalita ; ♂, Type (red), Chitagon, Burma. (NHML, examined)

Records taken from Literature

'Orthophaetus phaenus lalita ; Godfrey,1930 : 357. (Prae: Me Song forest; Nam Phi (Sen Tor); W: Klong Klung; Me Lamoung [Mae Lamung])'
'Orthophaetus phaenus lalita ; Davidson & Macbeth,1938 : 85. (Lanpan: Koon Tarn; Me Haht forest ; Lamppi)'
'Capila phanaeus lalita ; Evans,1949 : 85. (Klong Klung; Mae Sai Song)'
Capila phanaeus lalita ; Kimura et al.,2011 : 31, figs.♂,♂(Un). (Doi Suthep)

[ LAOS ]
Capila phanaeus fulva ; Motono & Negishi,1989 : 79. not fig. (Tha Ngone)
Capila phanaeus lalita ; Osada, Uémura & Uehara,1999 : 221, pl.133, figs.♂,♀,♂,♀. (Vientiane; Xaignabouri)
Capila phanaeus flora ; Nakamura & Wakahara,2012 : 57.
Capila phanaeus flora ; Onodera,2022 : 103, pl.238, figs.♀,♀(Un). (Vientiane: Tongpong) (in part)

Specimens Examined

Nan : 2♂ 1♀.
JanFebMarAprMayJun JulAugSepOctNovDec

[ LAOS ]
Xiang Khouang : 1♂ (photo by H.Onodera).
JanFebMarAprMayJun JulAugSepOctNovDec

Vientiane : 1♀ (photo by H.Onodera).
JanFebMarAprMayJun JulAugSepOctNovDec

Bolikhamxai : 2♂.
JanFebMarAprMayJun JulAugSepOctNovDec


The butterfly is locally not rare in montane forests at moderate elevations (Alt. 500 - 1200m). They often fly out from bushes along the trail and rest on the underside of leaves with their wings spread. Old records from northern and western Thailand need to be re-examined. According to Kimura et al.,2011, a single male specimen was found at Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai. In this area, ssp.flora is common and these two taxa seem to be sympatric.
The populations from Nan, N.Thailand to C.Laos are variable in ground color, markings on the upper side and the male genitalia. I tentatively treat these as this taxon, but further taxonomic study is needed.

The taxonomy of this species is very confusing. This is due to the extremely high geographical, individual and seasonal variation of the species. It has been tentatively re-examined, including subsequent findings. However, there is still a lack of specimens from each location and the classification is likely to change in the future.


Doherty, W.,1886 : Additional Notes on new or rare Indian Butterflies.
J. asiat. Soc. Bengal, Pt.2. 55(3):256-265.

1999.07.31 - 2023.04.30.

A Check list of Butterflies in Indo-China, Chiefly from THAILAND, LAOS & VIETNAM. Copyright © 1996- Y.Inayoshi.