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Thread: Request for ID keys

  1. #1

    Default Request for ID keys

    Dear Dr. Seow,

    Kindly share the ID keys to differentiate between the genus Borbo, Parnara and Pelopidas.
    I am clueless about these but have photographed quite a lot of them and am wondering how to start IDing them.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    n India these skippers can be quite tricky to ID.

    UnH without a cellspot.
    UnF subapical spots almost always three spots 6, 7, & 8.
    Note upper two spots 7 & 8 in line, while the lower spot 6 is out of line.
    Antennal club thicker than in Pelopidas but less than in Parnara.
    UpF with a space 1b spot.

    Borbo cinnara.
    UpF cellspots 0 to 2, relatively small.
    UpF with the spots larger, more irregular, spot 2 with concave margin.
    UpF space 1b spot strong.
    UnH typically with three postdiscal spots 2, 3, & 6. (extra in spaces 4 & 5) [B]These are fairly sharply defined.
    Wing margins with the dark line diffuse ,ill-defined.
    Singapore examples.

    Borbo (or Pseudoborbo) bevani.
    UpF one cellspot often large.
    UpF spots more rounded & compact.
    UpF spot in space 1b weak or absent.
    UnH postdiscal spots somewhat diffuse & less sharp.
    Wing marginal dark line sharply defined.

    Parnara bada can look similar but the antenna is short, the club thicker in the FW subapical spots , spots 6 & 7in line, spot 8 out of line or absent.
    UnH postdiscal spots decreasing in size upwards.
    Last edited by Psyche; 29-Oct-2022 at 11:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010



    Antennae short with the clubs very stubby, thick.
    UnH without a cellspot or sometimes a diffuse one at the cellend.

    FW subapical spots with spots 6 & 7in line & 8 slightly out or all more or less in line.
    UnH postdiscal spots 2 to 4 generally in a series , in some, nearly a straight line.

    Parnara bada.
    UpF without cellspot. Spot 3 quadrate, equal distance from spots 2 & 4.
    UnH postdiscal spots small separate & irregularly arranged.
    Very variable. Spots may be reduced.

    Taiwan, Singapore, P. Malaysia.

    Parnara ganga.
    FW usually without a cellspot; sometimes a lower cellspot is present.
    UpF spot 3 more oblong, & nearer spot 2 than 4 in the correct perspective.
    UnH with postdiscal spots large close together , arranged irregularly.
    UnH almost always without a spot 6.

    The next two species have the HW spots arranged more in a straight line like a step ladder.
    The UnH spots are distinctly whiter.

    Parnara guttata mangala
    FW with two cellspot but the lower one often reduced or missing.Upper one often large.
    UnH spots in a stepladder arrangement; spot 6 is typically absent.

    Parnara apostata debdasi.
    UpF without cellspot (rarely a small lower one.). Ground dark.
    UnH spots in a straight line can also be slightly crooked.
    HW spot 6 usually present.
    Elliot & Chiba in their revision of Parnara shows six specimens, 3 from Nepal, one each from Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo & Philippines.
    They all have large spots some even overlapping on the FW.
    P. Malaysia. Ssp. apostata.
    Java. ? ssp apostata.

    This have totally no FW cellspot & should be P. apostata.

    I believed all these are P. bada. They totally do not match the specimens provided by Chiba & Elliot.
    Last edited by Psyche; 29-Oct-2022 at 11:31 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010



    Pelopidas is usually identifiable by the presence of a UnH cellspot near the base of vein 6.
    Very rarely this is absent.
    P. mathias male.
    The females of all species except P. conjuncta have two spots in space 1b. the 2nd tiny one just below spot 2.
    Female P. mathias.

    Three of the smaller species, namely mathias, agna & thrax can be very confusing in India.

    Pelopidas thrax. FW 16- 19mm Range Africa, southern Europe middle East to N. E. India.
    UpF with spots irregular ;Upper cellspot often elliptic or a dash.
    Male brand more prominently whitish.
    Evans state of ssp masta in India; UnH usually only the double spots in space 4 & 5 conspicuous, the rest marked as dark spots.
    These examples from the Aegean areas give an idea of th morphology. Spots often edged brown.

    Pelopidas agna FW 17mm. FW cellspots rounded.
    Male UpF with spots 2 & 3 rather narrow;a line drawn thru the cellspots usually miss the brand ; in the female the line moves away from spot 1b.
    UnH more uniformly brown with clean look, may be greenish; dsf slightly paler centrally.

    Pelopidas mathias. FW 16mm. FW cellspots rounded.
    Widespread & very variable.
    Male FW spot 2 rather quadrate. A line drawn thru the cellspots normally cut the male brand.
    Usually a line thri the cellspots in the female moves close to spot 1b or cut it.
    UnH often darkly grey shaded.
    Ground pattern 'dirty' with smudgings around the postdiscal spots.
    Dsf with pale greyish shadings & dark-ringed spots..
    typically dark
    Less grey.

    Last edited by Psyche; 01-Nov-2022 at 08:01 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    Pelopidas sinensis. FW 16mm.

    Spots typically very large ,white on UnH, slightly buff on UpF.
    UnH spots 2, 3, & 4 of roughly equal size.
    Antenna with a prominent white area on basal part of club below.

    Pelopidas subochracea. FW 19mm.
    UnH with postdiscal spots mainly in space 2, 3, & 6, 6 being largest.
    Antenna darkish without a prominent pale area.
    Last edited by Psyche; 29-Oct-2022 at 11:17 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    The last two are rather large species.

    Pelopidas conjuncta .Male FW21mm.
    Ground medium brown, UnF spots yellow, UnH spots white.
    Male without a brand. female without the 2nd tiny spot in space 1b.
    Antennal pale area weak.
    FW cellspots never meet.
    SSp conjuncta (=conjunctus)

    Ssp. narooa.

    Note this should be P. sinensis.

    Pelopidas assamensis. male FW 23mm.
    FW cellspots touch & may merge.
    Antenna with a broad white band.
    UnF & UnH spots white, the FW ones very large.

    TL Seow: Cheers.
    Last edited by Psyche; 29-Oct-2022 at 11:18 AM.

  7. #7


    Thanks a lot Dr. Seow.

    You have given a ton of priceless information.

    Let me go through my collection and discuss further with you.

    Thanks a lot

  8. #8


    Dear Dr. Seow,

    I have been trying to identify these species from my collection. Its taking time but I have tried to nail some of them.

    Please verify if these are correctly identified.

    1. P Bada?
    P bada.JPG

    2. P ganga?
    P ganga (2).JPG

    3. P ganga?
    P ganga (3).JPG

    4. P ganga?
    P ganga.JPG

    5.a. P gutata?
    P gutata (1).JPG

    5.b. P gutata? (same specimen as 5.a.)
    P gutata (2).JPG


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    If you do not have this article yet you may want to download it.

    1. Parnara bada.
    FW without cellspot; spots 2, 3, & 4 well separated & equidistant apart.
    UpH with a spot 6 (indicating it is large UnH).
    Note P. ganga almost always without a HW spot 6.

    2 .Parnara ganga.
    FW without cellspot ( may have a small lower one)
    FW spots 2, 3, & 4 well-separated & spot 3 much nearer spot 2.
    Spots are wider, more rectangular than P.bada.

    3.Parnara apostata debdasi
    FW with sometimes a tiny lower cellspot.
    FW spots 2, 3 & 4 close & may even overlap.
    See article page 184, fig. 4, 5, & 6 from Nepal.
    HW usually with a spot 6 ( always more evident in UnH.)

    4. P. apostata debdasi.
    Note tiny FW lower cellspot, spots 2, 3, & 4 fairly close, UpH with prominent spot 6.

    5.Probable Parnara ganga. Also possible P. apostata.
    Note a faint tiny lower cellspot . (only P. ganga & apostata may have this spot).
    FW spots 2, 3, & 4 well separated. It is not always that spot 3 is nearer spot 2.
    eg see 2nd male below.
    UnH spot fairly large & close.( No HW spot 6, thereby making P. apostata less likely.)

    P. guttata have at least an upper cellspot. ie both cellspots may be present but the lower may be poor or absent.

    TL Seow: Cheers.
    Last edited by Psyche; 07-Nov-2022 at 10:30 PM.

  10. #10


    Dear Dr. Seow,

    Adding few more Parnara for verification/identification.

    6. P bada?
    Parnara bada.JPG

    7. P guttata
    DSC_0855 (2).JPG



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