Butterflies of Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka butterflies are in plenty. Sri Lanka is home to 245 species of butterflies with 23 of them being endemic to the country; of this 76 are listed as threatened with the endemic Ceylon Rose listed as critically endangered and the Ceylon Tree Nymph and the Ceylon Tiger as near threatened. They are seen distributed widely all over the island with a greater part of the species seen in the foothills at an elevation up to 3,000 ft and a lesser number of species at an elevation above 4,000 ft in addition to about 20 species found in the low land dry zone. The Butterfly seasons in Sri Lanka are from March to April when the Southwestern Monsoonal rains set in and the other is from March to April during the Northwestern monsoonal rains. During these seasons butterflies of the Pieridae family in particular the Albatross, Emigrants and Gulls are known to migrate in large numbers, an amazing occurrence that visually looking like a large white or yellow cloud being blown by the wind, fly towards Adam’s Peak (also called Samanala Kanda or Butterfly Mountain). Some of the butterflies include Common Bluebottle, Common Jazabel, Common Mormon, Common Rose and the Common Lime Butterfly. A majority of the endemics are found in the wet zone forests, particularly in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Other places include Thalangama Wetland, Colombo, Yala National Park, Horton Plains National Park, The Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy, Knuckles Mountain Range, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Kurunegala.