Pelopidas mathias

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Dark small-branded swift
Dark Small-branded Swift.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hesperiidae
Genus: Pelopidas
Species: P. mathias
Binomial name
Pelopidas mathias
(Fabricius, 1798)
  • Hesperia mathias Fabricius, 1798
  • Baoris mathias
  • Parnara parvimacula Rothschild, 1915
  • Gegenes elegans Mabille, 1877
  • Pamphila umbrata Butler, 1879
  • Hesperia octofenestrata Saalmüller, 1884
  • Pamphila albirostris Mabille 1887 in Grandidier, [1885-7]
  • Hesperia chaya Moore, [1866]
  • Hesperia julianus Latreille, [1824]
  • Pamphila repetita Butler, 1882

Pelopidas mathias, the dark small-branded swift, small branded swift, lesser millet skipper or black branded swift, is a butterfly belonging to the family Hesperiidae. It is found throughout much of south,[1] southeast and East Asia, and as far as the Philippines. It is also present in tropical Africa and Arabia.[2][3]


In Kolkata, West Bengal, India

In 1891, Edward Yerbury Watson described it as:

Male. Upperside olive brown: forewing with two small yellowish semi-transparent spots within end of cell, three before the apex, and in the male three oblique discal spots followed by a dark-bordered slender straight impressed glandular streak: hindwing with one or two very indistinct pale discal spots. Female with five discal spots in the forewing, and four or five in the hindwing. Underside paler ; markings more distinct; hindwing also with a spot at upper end of the cell. Expanse 1.6 inch.[4](Moore)[5]

Role in agriculture[edit]

P. mathias is considered a pest to rice-growing cultures, although it is not as damaging to rice plants as Parnara guttata. Newly hatched caterpillars are especially voracious in eating young seedlings. They also use silken threads to roll up and stitch together partially eaten leaves for more efficient consumption.[6]


  • Pelopidas mathias mathias
  • Pelopidas mathias oberthueri Evans, 1937
  • Pelopidas mathias repetita (Butler, 1882) (Admiraly Island, Dampier Island, Vulcan Island)


  1. ^ 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. 57. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.3966.2164. ISBN 978-81-929826-4-9. 
  2. ^ 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. 441. 
  3. ^ 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. p. 320. 
  4. ^ 1.6 inches (41 mm)
  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. 31. 
  6. ^ Heinrichs, E.A. (editor). Biology and Management of Rice Insects. Int. Rice Res. Inst. pp. 441–42. ISBN 81-224-0581-9.