Gomalia elma

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Marbled skipper
African Mallow Skipper Gomalia elma (7960780474).jpg
Upperside of Gomalia elma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hesperiidae
Genus: Gomalia
Moore, 1879
Species: G. elma
Binomial name
Gomalia elma
(Trimen, 1862)


  • Tavetana Picard, 1949


  • Pyrgus elma Trimen, 1862
  • Gomalia albofasciata Moore, 1879[1]
  • Tavetana jeanneli Picard, 1949

Gomalia is a monotypic genus of hesperiid butterfly.[2]Gomalia elma, the marbled skipper or African marbled skipper,[3][4] is found in Africa and parts of Asia.[4][3][5][6][1]


Male. Upperside with the ground colour brownish-olive-grey. Forewing with a basal blackish-brown band, and an ante-medial darker band, the latter with its outer margin limited by a black thick line which extends from the sub-costal vein in an outward curve to the sub-median vein, its portion crossing the cell edged outwardly by a white lunular mark which closes the end of the cell, a white spot at the base of the second median interspace and another inwards below^ almost touching it, in the first median interspace, a large square blackish-brown patch on the costa limited outwardly by three sub-apical conjoined white spots, a similar but smaller patch at the apex, a larger similar patch on the middle of the outer margin, and a small narrow one at the hinder angle. Hlndwing darker, a white middle band from the sub-costal vein to the abdominal fold, the inner portion of the wing from the band to the base black, containing a white sub-basal spot, a black band narrowing upwards attached to the lower portion of the white band, and a blackish macular, marginal baud. Cilia of both wings grey, marked in places with brown. Underside grey. Forewing with a darker ante-medial outwardly curved band darker than the ground colour, a white and grey mark at the end of the cell, a broader, grey, discal, more outwardly curved band and a grey band on the lower two-thirds of the margin. Antennae blackish, the underside of the shaft greyish-white; palpi and body beneath and the legs grey like the colour of the wings; palpi, head and body above brownish-olive, abdomen with whitish, thin segmental bands.

Female similar to the male, usually larger.

The wingspan is 26–31 mm for males and 29–36 mm for females.


In Africa, Gomalia elma is found in the Cape region, Orange Free State, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and other parts of Africa. In Asia, the butterfly ranges from Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Baluchistan and India.[4][3]

Food plants[edit]

Underside of Gomalia elma


  • Gomalia elma elma (Africa)
  • Gomalia elma albofasciata Moore, 1879 (India, Ceylon)
  • Gomalia elma levana Benyamini, 1990 (Dead Sea valley in Israel and Jordan)

Cited references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a work now in the public domain: Swinhoe, Charles (1912–1913). Lepidoptera Indica. Vol. X. London: Lovell Reeve and Co. pp. 104–105. 
  2. ^ Beccaloni, G.; Scoble, M.; Kitching, I.; Simonsen, T.; Robinson, G.; Pitkin, B.; Hine, A.; Lyal, C., eds. (2003). "Gomalia elma". The Global Lepidoptera Names Index. Natural History Museum.  Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c R.K., Varshney; Smetacek, Peter (2015). A Synoptic Catalogue of the Butterflies of India. New Delhi: Butterfly Research Centre, Bhimtal & Indinov Publishing, New Delhi. p. 38. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.3966.2164. ISBN 978-81-929826-4-9. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Markku Savela's website on Lepidoptera Page on genus Gomalia .
  5. ^ E. Y., Watson (1891). Hesperiidae Indicae : being a reprint of descriptions of the Hesperiidae of India, Burma, and Ceylon. Madras: Vest and Company. p. 159. 
  6. ^ W. H., Evans (1949). A Catalogue of the Hesperiidae from Europe, Asia, and Australia in the British Museum. London: British Museum (Natural History). Department of Entomology. p. 168. 

See also[edit]