Recent report of Dark Himalayan Oakblue Arhopala rama Kollar, 1848 (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea: Theclinae) from Tenga Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, India

Rachit Pratap Singh

81/5, Riverside colony, Mathura Cantonment, Uttar Pradesh, India


doi: | ZooBank:


Editor: Anonymity requested. Date of publication: 26 December 2015 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # o4000 | Received 17 April 2014 | Final received 19 November 2015 | Finally accepted 01 December 2015


Citation: Singh, R.P. (2015). Recent report of Dark Himalayan Oakblue Arhopala rama Kollar, 1848 (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea: Theclinae) from Tenga Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(15): 8296–8298;


Copyright: © Singh 2015. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: None.


Conflict of Interest: The author declares no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Peter Smetacek sir for encouraging me to work on this publication and Mr. Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi for helping me in framing the draft and for his guidance. I also acknowledge the valuable inputs and support from Mr. Isaac Kehimkar and Sanjay Sondhi. I am grateful to my parents for letting me pursue my passion for butterflies and for their constant support throughout my stay in Arunachal Pradesh.





The lycaenid butterfly Arhopala rama Kollar, 1848 also commonly known as Dark Himalayan Oakblue occurs in mid elevation (900m) to high elevation (2700m) of the Himalaya (Kehimkar 2008). It is altogether represented by two subspecies: Arhopala rama rama Kollar, 1848 and Arhopala rama ramosa Evans, 1925. Arhopala rama rama Kollar, 1848 occurs in Pakistan, Kashmir, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and other Himalayan regions including central China (Evans 1957; Kehimkar 2008). The other subspecies Arhopala rama ramosa Evans, 1925 occurs from Manipur, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam (Evans 1932, 1957; Inayoshi 2012). However, the species is presently reported from Singchung Village, Tenga Valley on 30 and 31 December 2013 (27.1922580N & 92.47338810E; altitude: 1626m) which is the first record from Arunachal Pradesh (Figs. 1, 2).

Arhopala rama can be easily distinguished from other similar species like Arhopala athada and Arhopala atrax by the presence of a tail in the hind wing and not conspicuously lobed at tornus. The species is purple brown below. Among the Arhopala group, the commonly sighted species near the same area of sighting includes Arhopala birmana. The distinguishing characters of the two subspecies, rama and ramosa are (Images 1 & 2).

Arhopala rama rama Kollar, 1848 has underside markings dull and faint. Upper side, in male: border 1 and half to 2mm. Female border 4–7 mm and on hind wing blue colour just before end cell. Arhopala rama ramosa Evans, 1925 has underside markings darker and better defined. Upper side male border 1mm on forewing and on hind wing just under 1mm. Female purple colour extends beyond cell (Evans 1932). Arhopala rama ramosa Evans, 1925 is darker below and more purple washed (Evans 1957). My specimen matches with female ramosa in having extensive purple colour. The underside description also matches with Evans’s keys.





Discussion: The status of the species was uncommon as per Evans (1932). However, Kehimkar (2008) reported the species to be common. Tytler (1915) also reported the species was common at low elevation in Manipur. The species is however rare in Tenga Valley and has been sighted only two times, on 30 and 31 December 2013, near a local Raphanus sativus (Brassicaceae) plantation (Image 3).

Arhopala rama larvae feed on Quercus incana (Fagaceae). Due to extensive cutting of trees and forest fires specially in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh, the Oakblue population is under threat. Oakblues are generally seen perched on shrubs and grass, so forest fires are very harmful for them. A. rama is distributed in the much drier regions of the Himalaya unlike other Oakblues.








Evans, W.H. (1932). The Identification of Indian butterflies - 2nd Edition. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, 454pp.

Evans, W.H. (1957). A revision of the Arhopala group of oriental Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera). Bulletin of British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 5(1): 122–123.

Inayoshi, Y. (2012). A Check List of Butterflies in Indo-China (chiefly from Thailand, Laos and Vietnam) ( Accessed 26 January 2014

Kehimkar, I. (2008). The Book of Indian Butterflies. Bombay Natural History Society and Oxford University Press, Mumbai, India, 497pp.

Tytler, H.C. (1915b). Notes on some new and interesting butterflies from Manipur and the Naga Hills. Part III. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 24: 119–155.