SLButterflies is a pictorial web guide to the Sri Lankan Butterflies. It contains photographs of 244 species out of the 248 species found in Sri Lanka up to date. Seasonal forms, dimorphic sexes and other variations of the adult stage are illustrated. Early stages of these butterflies represented by eggs, different instars of larvae, pupae and other related photographs such as the feeding patterns of larvae and leaf shelters of Hesperid butterflies. All the published information on their larval food plants are presented in this web site and it contains photographs of nearly 500 plant species, illustrating their various parts such as leaves, flowers, fruits, barks etc. Altogether, this web site contains 6883 of photographs of various researchers. Distribution maps and seasonal abundance graphs are given for every butterfly species.


SLButterflies was a concept of Himesh Jayasinghe, where he started to work on it together with his colleagues, Sarath Rajapakshe and Chamitha de Alwis. The website was initially designed by Dinesh Kuruppu and Danesh Kuruppu, who were then undergraduates of the University of Moratuwa. It was launched on 28th September 2010 at “Nethadara – 2010”, the annual photographic exhibition conducted by Nature Team – University of Moratuwa. The concept of this new version was initially discussed with the new developer, Shashika Muramudalige at Martin’s Lodge during the annual Sinharaja workshop conducted by World University Service – University of Moratuwa, and this is the archived output.

New concept

Since the butterflies are short living species and Sri Lanka has various habitat types, though it is a little island, distribution patterns, flight periods, larval food plants and migration dispersals have a drastically varied nature. Changes in the regular weather pattern in recent year as an effect of global warming, aforementioned things make further complex, since the ecology of butterflies mainly depends on plant ecology which is directly regulated by rain and drought. It was observed that the population dynamics of butterflies get impacted in recent years due to these climatic changes, but the impact on butterflies couldn’t evaluated, which needed a large amount of data for a considerably long period. It was understood that collecting data by only a few people will not achieve a reasonable outcome.

After founding the “Butterfly Conservation Society of Sri Lanka” in 2013, new armature ecologists living in various places in the country started to observe and collect data on butterflies. But these records were not collected in a single place, which is a very hard task to do manually. Hence it was decided to upgrade SLButterflies as an online data base, so that they can directly enter their field data without a third party.

Data collection & outcome

Through the online data sheet, we are collecting following information.
> Date / time of observation
> Location
> Habitat parameters
> Weather parameters
> Number of adult individuals seen
> Nectar plants of adult butterflies
> Other feeding materials of adult butterflies
> Existence of early stages
> Larval food plants and part of the plant that they are using
> Any other information
According to this information, distribution maps and seasonal abundance graphs are regularly updated in the front end, where the users can have access. Also, many other analysis can be done using this information in the back end for various researches which includes GIS analysis and predictions.

Data screening

For an accurate outcome through an analysis, the data used must be accurate and consistent. Hence, we have a well-organized data filtration system. On our web site, we have primary administrators, secondary administrators and other data suppliers. All the three categories can enter their field data to the online database, where all the data sheets are going to a temporary database. Both the primary administrators and secondary administrators have the authority to go through the data sheets and filter the data, for their accuracy. If the data supplied by an administrator, his/her data sheet should be screened by another administrator. All the doubtful things to secondary administrators are sent to primary administrators, who are the final decision authority. Data supplier category is not open to public in this initial stage, and it is done by selected persons. If anyone of you feel that you are competent enough to be a data supplier and committed in butterfly conservation, please write to us.

Butterfly Species Search

Show Map

Plant Species Search