Ceylon tiger (Parantica taprobana)

GenusParantica (1)
SizeWingspan: 80-90 mm (2)

The Ceylon tiger is classified as Near Threatened (NT) by the IUCN Red List (1).

The Ceylon tiger (Parantica taprobana) is a large, striking butterfly with rich dark chocolate coloured upperwings featuring greenish-white markings (3). There are two streaks on the forewings that start at the base of the wing and extend outwards; there are also a number of spots towards the outer margin of the wings (3). The sexes are similar in appearance (2).

Endemic to Sri Lanka, the Ceylon tiger is found in the central mountains (3).

Inhabits the high tree canopy at elevations of over 3000 feet. Occasionally, the Ceylon tiger may also be seen in gardens amongst tree plantations (3).

The Ceylon tiger typically flies high in the tree canopy, but descends to the ground to feed on the nectar of wayside flowers (2). As it feeds, it hangs on the flowers with its wings partially open (3). The caterpillars feed on a creeper (Ceropegia thwaitesi) (3).

Within Sri Lanka, the Ceylon tiger is not rare. However it is found only in this country and has a relatively restricted distribution, which makes it vulnerable (3).

There are no conservation measures targeting the Ceylon tiger.

Find out more on the Ceylon tiger:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. IUCN Red List (February, 2011)
  2. Michael and Nancy van der Poorten in Gehan' s Guide to the Birds, Butterflies and Dragonflies of Sri Lanka by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne:
  3. Sri Lankan Insects (March 2004):