Tongeia pseudozuthus Huang, 2001 - False Tibetan Cupid

Subspecies in India

No subspecies are listed under this species.

Photo Gallery and Species Biology

Not yet known.

Previously believed to be endemic to Chayu and Lower Chayu, Chayu County, SE Tibet, a region that borders the Upper Dibang Valley and Anjaw Districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Huang (2001) remarked that South (1913) misidentified the specimens collected by F. M. Bailey in 1911 in Chayu as Everes xuthus (xuthus is a mispelling of zuthus in South's publication) and Everes ion. South (1913) also identified E. ion from Kahao and E. xuthus* from Minzong. Both these places are in Anjaw District, Arunachal Pradesh, and South identifications of these specimens need to be checked.

The first Indian record was collected on 16 August 1987, at approx. 1,067 m asl, Ithun Valley, Upper Dibang Valley District, Arunachal Pradesh, and was initially tentatively identified as an Everes sp. In 2001, Huang described T. pseudozuthus from Chayu County, SE Tibet. It was in 2012 that the Indian specimen was compared against pseudozuthus and confirmed as that species, thanks to Dr. David Lees NHM(B) and Hao Huang. A second individual was sighted in the same region, approx. 5 km from Hunli village, on 2013/06/10 (Karimbumkara et al. 2016).

Subsequently, the species has been recorded from Kaho, Anjaw District (2021/09/30), and near Yingkiong, Upper Siang District (2024/05-06), both in Arunachal Pradesh, India (see records on this website).

Wingspan: 13mm.

There are no similar species in India. In both Tongeia kala (Black Cupid) and Shijimia moorei (Bicolor Cupid), the under hindwing discal spots are round and black, not beige and squarish. Tongeia menpae was recorded at Laohuzui, Metok, 1,500m in the Dihang/Lower Tsangpo Valley close to the Arunachal Pradesh border and may be separated by the discal band not being joined with the submarginal band. The mainly black under hindwing basal spots are a distinctive character for this species and separates it from its close Chinese allies.

A rare species that occurs in sunny spots near forest edges and streams in evergreen forests at mid elevations (approx. 500-1,500 m). It ranges over the Eastern Himalaya in NE India (Arunachal Pradesh) and south-eastern Tibet. It is known in India only from a handful of records.

It is recorded in SE Tibet from the end of July to mid August. Indian records are from the months of May (mid-May onward), June, August, and September.

StateJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecNo date
Andaman and Nicobar Islands UT
Andhra Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh243
Dadra & Nagar Haveli UT
Daman & Diu UT
Himachal Pradesh
Jammu and Kashmir UT
Ladakh UT
Madhya Pradesh
Puducherry UT
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal

Not yet known.

Evans W.H. 1914. A list of butterflies caught by Capt. F. M Bailey in S. East Tibet during 1913,  The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, v. 23 (1914):532-546.

Huang. 1998. Research on the butterflies of the Namjagbarwa Region, S. E. Tibet Neue Entomologische Nachrichten, 41: 207-264.

Huang. 2001. Report of H. Huang's 2000 Expedition to SE. Tibet for Rhopalocera Neue Entomologische Nachrichten, 51: 65-152.

Huang. 2003. A list of butterflies collected from Nujiang (Lou Tse Kiang) and Dulongiang, China with descriptions of new species, and revisional notes Neue Entomologische Nachrichten 55: 3-114.

De Nicéville, L. 1890. Everes kala in Marshal & de Nicéville, Butterflies India Burmah Ceylon 3: 139, pl. 26, f. 181.

South, R. 1913. A list of butterflies collected by Captain F.M. Bailey in western China, south-eastern Tibet, and the Mishimi hills, 1911 Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 22 (2): 345-365, (3): 598-615.

Karimbumkara, S.N., R. Goswami & P. Roy 2016. A report of False Tibetan Cupid Tongeia pseudozuthus Huang, 2001 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from the Upper Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh - An addition to the Indian butterfly fauna. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 8:8927–8929 (DOI:

Page citation

Roy, P., K. Kunte, S. Sondhi, F. Khan, and V. K. Chandrasekharan 2024. Tongeia pseudozuthus Huang, 2001 – False Tibetan Cupid. In Kunte, K., S. Sondhi, and P. Roy (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 4.12. Published by the Indian Foundation for Butterflies. URL:, accessed 2024/06/24.