Monday, 26 October 2015

Butterflies of Fraser's Hill - October 2015

Fraser's Hill is certainly more than just a dream vacation getaway. This is also a place where nature lovers can explore its avifauna spectacle enclave within its rustic and colonial charm. Whenever i visited this place, time just seem to stood still at this nostalgic hill. Besides birds and insects (bugs i mean) , there are lots of butterflies to be seen too and here are just some of them.

Redspot Jezebel (Delias descombesi)
This is probably its ssp called D. descombesi eranthos.

I was lucky enough to be able to take a shot of it in flight. 

Apparently even some experts have difficulty to identify "Crows" or scientifically called "Euploea".

But i believe the above butterfly was just a "Striped Blue Crow" (Euploea mulciber). See its other image below.

Next up is a butterfly which appears to be a "Malayan Lacewing" (Cethosia hypsea)
This "Malayan Lacewing" and the above "Stripped Blue Crow" were seen nearby together, sunning their wings in the early morning. Apparently this butterfly (the Malayan Lacewing) is reportedly poisonous.

Yellow Orange Tip (Ixias pyrene)
This is an interesting butterfly. If you have seen a "Yellow Orange Tip" butterfly in person, you will realise that its yellow patch/band actually looks more orangey than yellow. Despite trying many types of settings, the orangey color continues to turned up yellow. Since it has been spotted  in Fraser's Hill, it could have been instead a male "Cream Orange Tip" (Ixias alticola) as described by Kirton (2014) fieldguide.

Common Banded Demon (Notocrypta paralysos)
Could this skipper be related to the ssp feisthamelii as it was found higher than its nominated taxa's habitat?

Common Five Ring (Ypthima baldus)
Apparently "Common Five Ring" are quite widespread in this region. Looking at its eyespots which are much smaller and evenly sized, this butterfly could have been a Y. horsfieldii instead. 

Common Three Ring (Y.pandocus)
Seen nearby with the above "5 Ring" was this "3 Ring" and the photo below shows its upperside when opened.

Punchinello (Zemeros flegyas)
This "Punchinello" was certainly a lifer butterfly for me. Seen for the first time although it is reported to be quite common near the jungle edges. I will show more of its photos in my future posting.

Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon)
You will usually see "Bluebottle" more often in lowland forest than up in the hills.

These flowers can attract butterflies like a magnate.


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Butterflies at Bukit Rengit - Sept 2015

Recently i went for a half-day birding trip at Bukit Rengit which is located at the State of Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. Although the trip was more on birds but i did try a few shots at some of the butterflies.

Orsotriaena medus
Its common name is "Dark Grass Brown and it was found near the forest edge.

Cirichlora emalea emalea
Saw this "Malay Yeoman" wandering in the middle of the road and under the hot scorching sun. Then i realised that it was going to puddle at a dead animal carcass.

Parthenos sylvia
Commonly known as the "Clipper". Seen getting some minerals from the granite stones - probably the minerals were left by some animals.

Lastly this "Common Rose" stayed long enough for a photo shoot.
Pachliopta aristolochiae

I also saw a few "Stripped Blue Crow" (male) and "Lesser Stripped Black Crow" flying around. 

Overall this place could be a productive place for butterfly watching.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Elymnias esaca

Elymnias esaca
Initially this butterfly was thought to resemble a Jezebel Palmfly (Elymnias Vasudeva). But after seeking confirmation from local expert, Dr Laurence Kirton confirmed that it was a female 'Elymnias escaca' which can be found in Peninsular Malaysia but just not so common ! It was alone at that time and was quite skittish as well. Photo was taken in the early afternoon. Location: Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia.

Here is Dr Laurence Kirton's explanation: "It is easily confused with Elymnias vasudeva, which has a slightly different wing shape and lacks black submarginal spots. E. esaca also has less heavy black markings on the underside". 

After obtaining confirmation from Dr Laurence K, i decided to look closely at Jezebel Palmfly's photos, and found that they indeed do not have spots towards its hindwings as compared to E. esaca ! Wow didn't know that identifying butterflies can be a real challenge as well.  

Photo id credit: Dr Laurence Kirton from Malaysia and Mr SK Khew from Singapore. 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Plain Banded Awl (H.vitta)

This skipper was seen at one of the forest trails in FRIM, Kepong, Peninsular Malaysia on 1 May 2015 at 12.33pm.

Plain Banded Awl
I believe this skipper is a "Plain Banded Awl" rather than a "White-tipped Palmer". Its wing beats produced a buzzing sound which can be heard if it flies near you. 

Lots of other butterflies were seen but they were all quite common - mainly comprising of Chocolate Grass Yellow, Chocolate Albatross. Here are some CGY photos:

This one was sampling some bird's poo.

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)

Friday, 1 August 2014

Jacintha Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina jacinta)

Eggfly butterflies are really beautiful butterflies. Its upperwings when spread, shows some bluish-white patches which appears to be glowing when seen in dark foliages.

Common Butterflies in Gardens and Parks

Here are some of the butterflies which you may find in your gardens or nearby playgrounds and parks.

Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe)

Anderson Grass Yellow (Eurema andersonii andersonii)

3 Spot Grass Yellow (Eurema blanda snelleni)

Dark-Branded Bush Brown (Mycalesis minues)

Could this be a "Mycalesis perseoides perseoides"? I believe it was also a Dark-Branded Bush Brown (Mycalesis minues)

Glassy Tiger (Parantica agleoides)

Lemon Emigrant (Catopsilia pomona)
According to Kirton (2014), "Lemon Emigrant" are migrants butterflies ! Said to occur from India and right down to "down under" (i.e Australia). Amazing phenomenon !

Stripped Albatros (Appias libythea olferna)

Chocolate Albatross - male

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