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Thread: The alea subgroup in Singapore.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default The alea subgroup in Singapore.

    The alea subgroup can be extremely frustrating to ID.

    The cleander group.
    FW spot 4 can sometimes be slightly shifted out causing confusion .
    Similarly HW spot 7 is sometimes shifted or overhang a little inwards of spot 6.

    The cleander subgroup consist of two species , athada & silhetensis.
    They are very large about 2X the size of the alea subgroup.
    The larger wings mean the HW postdiscal spots & the submarginal spots/band are widely separated.

    Five members of the alea subgroup were recorded in Singapore.
    They are A. milleri, sublustris, normani, phanda & aroa.

    Two are probably extinct.

    Arhopala aroa.
    Wings are rather elongate with rounded margins. This cause the markings to be well-spaced.
    The upperside is darkish blue.
    UnH spot 6 is tapered downward sharply so that it is almost triangular.
    Sunny Chir posted a montage of four individuals for comparison a dacade ago, one of which resembles A. aroa in the HW spot 6.
    It would certainly be interesting to check that image again.

    Arhopala phanda.
    Upperside is darkish blue.
    The underside have the markings broad.
    UnH spots 6 & 7 are quadrate & joined like a column.
    These two males should be A. phanda , wrongly labelled.

    The three extant species are A. milleri, sublustris & normani.
    They are very similar on hte underside.

    A sublustris is by far the commonest species.
    The upperside blue in the male is more shiny & reflective than all other species.
    UnH spot 6 tapers from top downwards & may be more convex on the outer margin.
    Using a flash should show its reflective quality.
    These below are confirmed by the shiny blue uppersides.
    Males with a bit of brighter blue exposed on the HW.

    A. milleri.
    Male upperside is a less reflective indigo blue.
    It appears dark blue in a shot.
    UnH spot 6 also tapers downwards as in A. sublustris.
    It seem impossible to separate two based on the underside alone.
    Note in the middle pic especially the HW upperside is very dark, even with flash.
    From Selangor. Note dark blue upperside.
    Female .The upperisde matches Otsuka Lycaenids of Borneo L207 (Free pdf available.)Note long palpi.

    A. normani.
    Male upperside deep violet blue appearing darker than in sublustris.
    UnH spot 6 with sides hardly tapers, almost parallel.

    Probable A. normani.
    Note shape of HW spot 6.
    The little bit of FW blue in the FW tear looks dark despite the flash.
    Probable A. normani. Note UpH very dark blue, HW spot 6 with parallel sides.

    Finally .
    Arhopala agrata.
    This resembles an alea subgroup member.
    This is the only tailed Arhopala here with FW spot 9 absent or nearly obsolete.
    HW spot 6 is much wider than spot 7 & the markings tend to be weak.
    Federick HO & Sunny Chir shot this male in the CCA in 2010.
    Should still be extant in the protected forest.

    TL Seow: Cheers.
    Last edited by Psyche; 26-May-2024 at 02:14 PM.

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