Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Common Butterflies Up Close - Dec 2014

The weather has not been conducive lately for watching butterflies. Usually butterflies would hide underneath leaves during the rain but i had a rare opportunity recently to snap a few of them in between the showers.

Psyche (Leptosia nina)
It emerges right after the rain stopped. Here you can see the faint black spot on the upper side of its wings. 

 When it is wide open the black spot can be clearly seen. It was seen flying close to the ground as described by most people/books. A common butterfly in the garden but not sure why people call it "Psyche" though !

I believe the above butterfly species was a "Lesser Grass Blue" (Zizina otis). Quite a tiny butterfly which flew out to join the "Psyche". 

Common Palmfly (Elymnias hypermnestra)
Surprised to see this lovely butterfly flying in immediately after the rain stopped. It was certainly not anywhere near a palm tree but it rested for quite sometime on a "Bunga Raya" tree instead.

Banana Skipper (Erionota thrax)

As its name suggests it should be hanging around a lot near the banana plantations and probably not in your garden. This skipper was seen near a river and i was informed that it is quite uncommon to see one nowadays.

Palm King (Amathusia phiddippus
 This large butterfly was seen near a swampy area in Penang. The black markings on its wings was actually caused by a "drongo" (a type of bird) trying to devour it several times. During those times it had managed to hide itself between the nipah palms as can be seen from the above photo. Not sure whether the butterfly had survive the day as the drongo was waiting nearby at all times. According to Kirton (2014) fieldguide book, most Palm Kings are rare !

HaPPY nEW yEAr 2015 !!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Butterfly Research and Outings - Sept 2014

I am currently assisting Prof Yong, a veteran Zoologist from Universiti Malaya on his research of butterflies using the method of "Molecular Phylogenetics" - sound really scientific right ? In lay-person terms, this method of research uses DNA sequencing and mathematical models to study an organism hereditary relationships. It is basically to improve human understanding on the morphology classification of organism - birds, butterflies, insect included. It was based on the premise that all taxonomy classifications must be monophyletic. 

Whatever sound it may be,  i was glad to be able to contribute something to science.

Here is a "Yellow-Barred Pan" (Xanthotaenia busiris) which was caught in the net. 

(Note: although the research survey only took a day but the data analysis might take months to complete)

Here were the other butterflies seen during the research:
Dark-Grass Brown (Orsotriaena medus)

I have initially assumed this was a female Horsfield's Baron but experts including Mr SK Khew of Butterfly Singapore group confirmed that it was a female "Knight" (Lebadea malayana) instead. What a great find !

Mottled Bush-Brown (Mycalesis janardana)

There were also skippers flying around but they can be quite fast to be caught in the net.

Common Banded Demon (Notocrypta paralysos)

I think this could be a "Forest Hopper".

Yellow-Barred Pan (Xanthotaenia busiris

Here are more butterflies seen from the trip to Jelebu:

These could be another "Forest Hoppers"

Plain Lacewing

According to Dr Kirton (2014), in the highlands, this species is represented by "Red Lacewing" (Cethosia biblis).

Branded Imperial (Eooxylides tharis)

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