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Skippers Indian Butterflies

A Swift

Photo by Abha
A Swift
A Swift in Bangalore.

I had earlier called this a "Common Grass Dart" due to a careless viewing of the pictures in Kunte's Butterflies of Peninsular India. I thank S. Kalesh for correcting my error and for the following note (slightly edited by me) on the differences between Swifts and Grass Darts:
The Swifts are relatively faster, as per their name, in their flight. The Grass Darts are relatively less accomplished fliers but have a darting type of flight. Swifts are relatively brownish insects with various transparent markings such as brands and hyaline spots, mostly single and rarely conjoint[trans/ semitransparent], on their wings. These are usually on the upper side of their fore wings, but in some also on the hind wings. Some of the spots are visible on both sides. The Grass Darts look similar but differ in the arrangement of the spots on their wings. The spots appear coupled on some areas and lie close together in layers of 2 or 3 from the near aspect of the body to the ends of wings on the upper side, and are more colourful on the underside with whitish veins and spots. The Swifts are relatively larger, with some exceptions, but the wing span, I think, is never less than 3.00 cm. Darts are a bit smaller and less stouter than the Swifts.

Amber Habib
Last modified: July 17 2003