The Apefly (Spalgis epius) is a small butterfly found in Asia that belongs to the Lycaenids or Blues family. It gets its name from the supposed resemblance of its caterpillar to the face of an ape.
Upperside: dull brown, slightly darker towards the apex of the fore wing; also a more or less quadrate whitish spot beyond the apex of the cell on the same wing; in some specimens this spot is slightly diffuse. Underside : pale, silky, brownish-white; fore and hind wings crossed by numerous, very slender, short, sinuous, transverse, dark brown strigae which are outwardly slenderly edged with brownish-white of a shade paler than that of the ground-colour; both wings with an anticiliary dark brown line with on the inner side a similar edging. Fore wing, in addition, with an oval white spot beyond the cell. Cilia of both fore and hind wings of the same shade as the ground-colour of the wings. Antenna, head, thorax and abdomen pale brown, club of antennae ochraceous at apex; beneath : the palpi and thorax brownish-grey, abdomen pale brown.
Upperside: slightly paler brown. Fore wing: the cell and apex darker; a white spot similar to that in the male but larger, beyond the apex of the cell; in most specimens extended diffusely outwards and downwards. Hind wing: similar to that of the male. Underside: precisely as in the male.
Upperside. Museum specimen. Malaya.
The caterpillars of this butterfly like other members of the subfamily Miletinae are entomophagous and are predators of scale insects. The species unlike many other lycaenid butterflies is not myrmecophilous.
- Spalgis epius epius (India, Sri Lanka to Peninsular Malaya, Nicobars, Mergui and southern Yunnan)
- Spalgis epius dilama (Moore, 1878) (Taiwan)
- Spalgis epius fangola (Kheil, 1884) (Sumatra, Nias, possibly Borneo)
- Spalgis epius nubilus Moore,  (Andamans, Pulau Tioman)
- Spalgis epius pharnus Felder, 1860 (Kai, Buru, Ambon, Halmahera, West Irian)
- Spalgis epius semperi Fruhstorfer, 1919 (northern Philippines, Luzon)
- Spalgis epius strigatus Semper, 1889 (southern to central Philippines)
- Spalgis epius substrigata (Snellen, 1878) (Sulawesi)
- Spalgis epius titius Fruhstorfer, 1919 (Java, Bali, Sumba, Sumbawa, possibly Damar and Lombok)
- Page on Marrku Savela's site for genus Spalgis (Lycaenidae).
- Bingham, C. T. (1907) Fauna of British India. Butterflies. Volume 2.
- Venkatesha, M. G., L. Shashikumar, S.S.Gayathri Devi (2004) Protective devices of the carnivorous butterfly, Spalgis epius (Westwood) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) Current Science 87(5): 571-572 PDF
- Venkatesha, M. G. (2005) Why is homopterophagous butterfly, Spalgis epius (Westwood) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) amyrmecophilous? Current Science 89(2):245-246 PDF
- Evans, W.H. (1932) The Identification of Indian Butterflies. (2nd Ed), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India
- Gaonkar, Harish (1996) Butterflies of the Western Ghats, India (including Sri Lanka) - A Biodiversity Assessment of a threatened mountain system. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society.
- Haribal, Meena (1994) Butterflies of Sikkim Himalaya and their Natural History.
- Kunte,Krushnamegh (2005) Butterflies of Peninsular India. Universities Press.
- Wynter-Blyth, M.A. (1957) Butterflies of the Indian Region, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India.