Chilades pandava pandava
Family : Lycaenidae
Subfamily : Lycaeninae
Genus : Chilades
Common Name : Cycad Blue, Plains Cupid, 曲纹紫灰蝶
The butterflies can often be seen at the entrance courtyard of the Singapore Botanic Gardens gateway where a pair of Cycas rumphii flank the entrance to the courtyard. The butterflies are a testimony that insecticides are not used in SBG. The upperside of the male is light blue with narrow black markings, whilst the female has broader borders and is paler. The average wingspan of the butterfly is 13-15mm. There is a short white-tipped tail on each hindwing.
This common Lycaenid feeds on the young shoots of the ornamental Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) and other Cycas species. In Singapore, they are sometimes considered a pest as they destroy the Cycad palms which are prized plants in ornamental horticulture. The Cycas are rather slow-growing and the caterpillars of this butterfly feeds on the immature shoots of the palms. The attacks then leave the plants with old leaves but without new growth.