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The Common Sailor Butterfly - Information and Characteristics

Updated on December 9, 2011

The Common Sailor Butterfly

The Common Sailor Butterfly is also known as Neptis Hylas. They are from the family Nymphalidae, or brush footed butterflies also known as a Nymphalid. The sub family for the sailor butterfly is Limenitidinae. Limenitidinae, are Admirals or Relatives. They are found naturally in South and Southeast Asia as well, and I wish I could go there to see this and other butterflies in person.

The regions they have been found in, more specifically, include Indomalaya, Sri Lanka, India, Tenasserim, and Myanmar

When you see these common sailor butterflies, you will notice that it is characteristic of stiff gliding. Their wing beats are rather short, and shallow as well.

Sailor Butterfly


Something Rather Curious

One thing of particular interest to me is that there have been some common sailor butterflies which make some kind of sound! I was so surprised to hear this, as my experience so far is that butterflies generally make no sound at all. So this was rather a curious thing to me. Lepidopterists are still trying to figure out whether or not this sound is for some particular purpose, and as far as I can tell, they have no answer to that yet. Perhaps there is no real purpose or rhyme or reason to that.

If there was one unanswered question I have about these butterflies, it would be to ask how they got their name, "Common Sailor." I can't help but be curious about that!

If you get the chance, try to visit a butterfly conservatory, as you may see some butterflies there that you wouldn't normally see in your own area. I love to go to places like that, but also like to do my own butterfly gardening to bring the local butterflies close, and to support them in their habitat. They in turn help us with polination and bring beauty to our surroundings. I love to refer to them as flying flowers, because they do seem beautiful like a flower, but flutter along and seem so carefree and beautiful.

The Common Sailor Butterfly

Places you may find the Common Sailor Butterfly

show route and directions
A markerSouth Asia -
get directions

B markerSouth East Asia -
South East Asia
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C markerMyanmar -
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D markerSri Lanka -
Sri Lanka
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E markerAssam -
Assam, India
get directions

F markerTenasserim -
Tenasserim, Burma
get directions

G markerIndia -
get directions


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Himradi, Thank you for sharing your information. I would love to see one of these butterflies in their natural habitat like that. Thanks for stoppping by and commenting with what you saw in Burdwan.

    • profile image

      himadri banerjee 2 years ago

      i found this butterfly (common sailor) in a place in the district of Burdwan,westbengal on 14/04/2015.but unfortunately i have no documented proof.thanks.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Les Trois Chenes, thank you for your comment and visit to my hub! I think its great to learn more about these butterflies, and it brings me joy to do so. I would so love to see the ones in France where you are! Maybe one day I can. :)

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 6 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      We have so many lovely butterflies in our garden in Limousin, S W France, some that I recognise but many that I don't know anything about. I've been inspired by your article to try to find out more about them. Of course, I doubt if I'll ever see a Common Sailor butterfly here though.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Sandy, Toknow, and Sunchild, thank you for your wonderful comments. I learn more all the time from or about butterflies. Sunchild, that is simply fascinating about the sound of a butterfly that put you to sleep one time. How amazing! Thank you all for your comments.

    • sunchild28 profile image

      sunchild28 6 years ago from Nigeria

      Butterflies do make lovely sound,infact one actually put me to sleep one certain time.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 7 years ago

      Wonderful hub about a beautiful species. I love butterflies and wrote a hub called "Butterflies - Winged Wonders - A Gift of Nature". Wonderful video and great information. Thanks for a great article.

    • SandyMcCollum profile image

      SandyMcCollum 7 years ago

      A butterfly that makes a sound! I'd like to see that! :)

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      That means a lot, thanks Phoenix. I hope to post more of the common sailor butterfly in the future, I know I have more, I just need to locate them, lol. Appreciate your visit. :)

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Dr. Irum, thank you for visiting my hub, and thanks for the comment! :)

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Clare-Louise, thank you so much! Happy to share it and so glad you stopped by. :)

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 7 years ago from USA

      Great Photographs as usual, great hub!

    • Dr irum profile image

      Dr irum 7 years ago

      Interesting hub.

    • Clare-Louise profile image

      Clare-Louise 7 years ago from Birmingham UK

      How lovely! And how interesting that it makes a sound. Thanks for sharing this!