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

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Butterflies along the Forest Trail

As you enter the jungle for your nature walks or jungle trekking activities, keep an eye on the side of the trail. You might just be rewarded with butterflies of many varieties and colors. From my experience, butterflies would appear in abundance on sunny days or just after an overnight rain fall. Here are some of the butterflies which you might just encounter along the jungle trails of Peninsular Malaysia:

Commander (Moduza procris milonia)

Common Jester (Symbrenthia hippoclus)

Archduke (Lexias pardalis)

Horsfield Baron (Tanaecia iapis puseda)

Tawny Rajah (Charaxes bernardus)

Dark Blue Jungle Glory (Thaumantis  klugius lucipor)

Malayan Yeoman (Cirrochroa emalea emalea)

Orange Tip (Hebomoia glaucippe aturia)

Orange Tip (Hebomoia glaucippe aturia)
Apparently the male version of "orange tip" has a black tip !

Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore)

Common Bottle Blue (Graphium sarpedon luctatius)

Common Caerulean (Jamides celeno aelianus)

Small Leopard (Phalanta alcippe)

Magpie Crow (Euploea radamanthus radamanthus)

Lance Sergeant (Athyma pravara helma)

Studded Sergeant (Athyma asura idita)

Clipper (Parthenos sylvia) - race:  lilacinus

Banded Demon (Notocrypta paralysos varians)

Malay Viscount (Tanaecia pelea pelea)
This was my first difficult butterfly - identification sense. Apparently Malay Viscount butterflies are quite similar as the female Horsfield's Baron.

Knight (Lebadea martha malayana)

Rajah Brooke's Birdwing (Trogonoptera brookiana)

Chocolate Grass Yellow (Eurema sari sodalis)

Chocolate Pansy (Junonia iphita)

Marbled White Moth (Nyctemera coleta)

The Malayan Owl (Neorina lowii)
According to Liew Nyuk Lin, this butterfly is a denizen of deep forest. Glad it ventured out to the jungle trial.

There were about 9 -10 different species of butterflies here.

(Note: some of these butterflies may also occur in other areas such as your house garden, parks etc)

Butterflies and Skippers of a Forest Trail - Sept 2017

Unlike in Singapore, there are not many naturalist in Malaysia who are keen in watching butterflies. Watching butterflies are not too diffi...