Saturday, 12 June 2021

Butterflies in June 2021 (Part 1)

The month June welcomed a few returning butterflies from May 2021 as well as some new ones. The positive development was that a significant number of butterflies were appearing. This was probably due to the more sunny weather occurring in June. In addition it also appears that breeding session has started with a number of breeding activities been recorded. For part 1 of the three series, here are some of the butterflies which I have manage to photographed.

Malayan Tailed Judy (Abisara savitri savitri)

This should be a returning species as it was last seen in February 2021.

Malayan Punchinello (Zemeros emersoides albipunctatus)

This female Plush (Sithon nedymond nedymond) is a new addition

The above looks like a Tree Yellow (Gandaca harina distanti)

Yellow-disc Oakblue (Arhopala perimuta regina)

Ciliate Blue (Anthene emolus goberus)

This is a female Common Jay (Graphium doson evemonides)

The Commander (Moduza procris procris)

Apparently this one is a Violet Four-line Blue (Nacaduba subperusia lysa)

The Lance Sergeant (Athyma pravara helma)

The Colour Sergeant (Athyma nefte subrata) - upperside

Gender: male

The Colour Sergeant (Athyma nefte subrata) - underside

Common Five-Ring (Ypthima baldus newboldi) in the midst of mating

Blue Posy, Drupadia scaeva scaeva (Hewitson)

Blue PosyDrupadia scaeva scaeva (Hewitson) - 

The difference between with and without sunlight exposures

Branded Imperial (under direct sunlight)

                                                 Branded Imperial (under a shade)                                     

       Mottled Bush-Brown (under direct sunlight)   

Mottled Bush-Brown (under a light shade)    


Common Five-ring (under direct sunlight)   

Common Five-ring (under a light shade)   

Spotted Plum Judy (Abisara geza niya)

Tawny Palmfly (Elymnias panthera panthera)

                              MORE BUTTERFLIES CONTINUE IN PART 2 .......                                      


Friday, 28 May 2021

Butterflies in May 2021 - shooting in the rain and restrictions

There has been a slight drop in butterflies photos due to the lack of opportunities to photograph them out there. Most of the photos in May were taken at a nearby park, along the road side as well as at the edge of a nearby forest. Hence most of them were common ones mix with a couple of 'returning' old ones.

The Commander

Moduza procris milonia (Fruhstorfer)

Status: moderately common

Red-Spot Duke - Dophla evelina compta (Fruhstorfer)

Red-Spot Duke (front underside view)

(Note: you can clearly see the two red landing lights)

Status: moderately common

Great Egg-fly (Hypolimnas bolina bolina)

Sampling some 'minerals' from the earth

Status: fairly common

A rather plain looking "Arhopala epimuta epiala"(Corbet) - Common Disc Oakblue

Status: uncommon

Common Sailer (Neptis hylas papaja)

Status: common

Yamfly (Loxura atymnus fuconius) ovipositing eggs on shoots of host plant (Smilax)

Status: fairly common

An old friend came back to visit. Last seen was in February 2021.

Tiger Palmfly - Elymnias nesaea lioneli (Fruhstorfer)

Status: uncommon to rare

The Malayan Punchinello (Zemeros emesoides emeisodes)

Status: moderately common

Punchinello - Zemeros flegyas albipunctatus (Butler)

Status: Fairly common

Jewel Four-lined Blue - Nacaduba sanaya elioti (Corbet)

Status: common (low land species)

I think this should be a "Six-line Blue" (Nacaduba kurava nemana) or perhaps a "Nacaduba berenice icena" (Fruhstorfer) - "Rounded six-line blue".

Status: another common (low land species)

Rustic (Cupha erymanthis lotis)

Status: common

Common Grass Yellow - Eurema hecabe contubernalis (Moore)

Status: very common

A hardly recognisable "Common Mormon" (Papilio polytes romulus)

Status: common

Malayan Tailed Judy (Abisara savitri savitri)

Status: moderately common to uncommon

This is a male "Branded Imperial" (Eooxylides tharis distanti) (Riley)

Status: fairly common

Common Imperial - Cheritra freja frigga (Fruhstorfer)

Status: common

Common Bush-Brown / Mottled Bush-Brown 

(Mycalesis janardana sagittigera)

Status: Fairly common

Note: the above could be a wet season form

Common Bush-brown in the open.

Here is something different. 

Purple Bush Brown - Mycalesis orseis nautilus (Butler) - without flash light

Status: moderately common 

Purple Bush Brown - Mycalesis orseis nautilus (Butler) - with flash light


Saturday, 1 May 2021

Butterflies in April 2021: an outlook on the conservation of Lepidoptera

A highly diversified insect life in an ecosystem is usually closely associated with a resourceful environment. In understanding the conservation and needs of any species, one actually need to understand their biological setup and intricate behavioral cues that may sustain the existence of the species. An understanding of the correlation of butterflies with their host plants as well as the wellbeing of the host plants are also critical in the conservation efforts of Lepidoptera. Their larva and adults at times occupy different habitats and requires different resources for their survival. For example the Indian Palm Bob (Suastus gremius gremius) oviposition host plant is "Phoenix acaulis" while its larva host plant are Coconut Palms and, Lady Palms (as well as Yellow Cane Palms and Sealing Wax Palms as discovered by SK Khew and his team from Singapore). Hence an increased in anthropogenic activities which results in habitat fragmentation and lost of host plants may effect the previously functional metapopulations. 

The month of April saw the beginning of a transition of the monsoon phase which caused some heavy rain and thunderstorm in this region. The current monsoon transition phase marks the end of the northeast monsoon phase which started since last November. This new Southwest monsoon phase on the other hand is expected to continue until mid-May. I have managed to score a few nice and uncommon to rare butterflies in between those rain showers.

Whitespot Palmer (Eation elia)

I was lucky to see this butterfly which is considered unique and uncommon. 

It has no subspecies across its range.

It flew across the trail from right to left like 'Flash Gordon'. Luckily it landed on some palm leaves.

Initially it was a bit skittish but after awhile once it has calmed down I was able to approach it quite close.

Yellow-disc Tailless Oakblue (Arhopala perimuta regina)

It was last seen in January about 100 meters from the current location. Could it be the same one ?

The Red Spot Duke (Dophla evelina compta)

This butterfly is about the size of an Archduke. To snap its photo I had to find my way deeper into the foliage as it kept itself outside from the main trail. 

Common Posy (Drupadia ravindra moorei)

This butterfly species has been quite common lately and they like to hang-out on hairy leaves.

The month of April seems to produced a number of sailers.

This neptis species I think is most likely a "Burmese Sailer" (Neptis leucoporus cresina)

Meanwhile this one above could be a "Colour Sergeant' (Athyma nefie subrata)

The above is most likely a "Malayan Sailor" (Neptis soma pendleburyi)

Knight (Lebadea martha malayana)

A fairly common butterfly but it is usually found only in forested areas.

Spotted Black Crow (Euploea crameri bremeri)

Sometimes you could see a few flying gently in the forest tree tops but this one has decided to fly lower.

Lesser Striped Black Crow (Euploea eyndhovii gardineri)

I believe this species is much less common than the earlier 'Black Spotted Crow'.

The above photo which was taken by my friend with a handphone is a "Ciliate Blue" (Anthene emolus goberus). So lucky to see its upperside. ID was informed by a Singaporean butterfly enthusiast.

A type of Jamides - most likely a "Common Cerulean" (Jamides celeno celeno)

Could the above be a "Pointed Line Blue" (Ionolyce helicon merguina

The above skipper looks like a "Lesser Dart" (Pothanthus omaha omaha)

The above skipper could be a "Malayan Dartlet" (Oriens paragola pseudolus). It was based on its more / deeper orangey colors.

A very brightly coloured skipper indeed.

Neptis miah batara (Small Yellow Sailor)

This 'sailer' prefers to puddle on the ground as compared to other sailors. This time there were two of them.

Quite a scary looking face.

Could the above be a "Perak Laskar" (Pantoporia peraka peraka)

Blue Posy (Drupadia scaeva scaeva)

The above butterfly is just about the size of a 'Jamides' but is very skittish. Doesn't allow me to get a closer look. This shot was made from a distance.

Bifid Plushblue (Flos diardi capeta)

Never seen this one before.

Lesser Darkwing (Allotinus unicolor unicolor)

Could this be two different Lesser Darkwings?

                        The one on the left appears to be strongly patterned than the one on the right.

Punchinello (Zemeros flegyas albipunctatus)

There is nothing striking about its underside as compared to its upperside. Have a look at the photo below and you will know why.

What a beauty !

Vagrant (Vagrans sinha macromalayana)

Vagrant - this butterfly was once declared extinct in Singapore only for it to reappear after three decades later.

In Peninsular Malaysia, it is considered "moderately common" and can be found mainly in the forested regions.

One of the highlights of any nature trips, is the appearance of rare or uncommon butterflies. 

Yellow Banded Awl (Hasora scoenherr chuza)

Like most skippers, this Yellow Banded Awl can fly very fast and its wing beats can be heard if it flies closer to your ears. 

For every new and rare butterflies, my heart will jump for joy. That's the beauty of watching nature. The above is a "Blue Dandy" (Laringa castelnaui castelnaui). Described as one of the rare species by literature. 

Spotted Plum Judy - Abisara geza niya (Fruhstorfer)

Gender: female

It took awhile for many of us to ID the above skipper until an expert finally nailed it as a worn out female "Fullstop Swift" (Caltoris cormasa). 

The same "Fullstop Swift" with flash on. Still can't see any spots due to its worn out status.

This Yamfly (Loxura atymnus fuconis)has something peculiar above its eye. Not sure what was it though.

Indian Palm Bob (Suastus gremius gremius) (Fabricius)

Status: Fairly Common

Lastly here is an interesting moth which you might seldom seen.

Dog's Paw Moth (Plutodes malaysiana)


Butterflies in June 2021 (Part 1)

The month June welcomed a few returning butterflies from May 2021 as well as some new ones. The positive development was that a significant ...