Thursday, November 13, 2014

Butterfly Paradise at Chiang Dao (Northern Thailand) Part 5

Continue from my last post.

My first shot of a skipper is the Chestnut Angle (Odontoptilum angulatum angulatum). It came down to puddle on the ground on our first day at Chiang Dao. 
This is Thoressa masoni (The Golden Ace), a common species at Chiang Dao.
This is the Northen Ace (Thoressa cerata). It was rather skittish and alert, scooted off rapidly just after I had taken a shot.
The Pithauria species are generally larger and more robust in built than many other brown skippers. This Light Straw Ace (Pithauria stramineipennis stramineipennis) was so co-operative on the ground that I could not resist taking some shots of it.  
This is a pristine Light Straw Ace skipper. It rested on the table top for me to compose a few shots.
According to Dr Seow, he believed that this is the Dark Straw Ace (Pithauria murdava).
This appears to be the Branded Straw Ace (Pithauria marsena). I could not remember why I took only one shot of it.
The Pale Marked Ace (Halpe hauxwelli ) is another common species at Chiang Dao. 
A different specimen was on the ground.
This is another look-alike Ace, the Silver-breast Ace (Sovia albipecta) I guess.
This is the Long-banded Ace (Halpe zola zola) which was shot outside an abandoned house overlooking the puddling ground.
I found this yellow tiny Tiger Hopper (Ochus subvittatus) rather cute because of the body and wing shape.
Les pointed out to us that this was not a common skipper. So I took some shots of  the Banded Bush Hopper (Ampittia maroides)   
Perhaps, one of the highlights we had at Chaing Dao on our last day was the excitement created by the Pale Green Awlet (Burara gomata gomata) - thanks to Antonio  who spotted it first. It went hiding but came back a few times in the late afternoon.

Sorry to say that I tended to ignore most of the skippers on the puddling ground. I might have missed many other species. In fact,  I didn't get to shoot many lycaenids in this trip too as most of them looked familiar to me.
I managed to snap just two shots when the Bi-Spot Royal (Ancema ctesia ctesia ) came down to puddle for a few seconds - it never stayed still and kept walking around.
This is the Silver Royal (Ancema blanka minturna). I didn't know when it appeared on the ground but it certainly disappeared really fast from my sight.
There were many Prosota species on the puddling ground - one of them was the tailless Banded Line Blue (Prosota lutea sivoca ) which can be identified quite easily due to its ground colour of the wings.
A couple of  the Barred Lineblue (Prosotas aluta coelestis) was parading in front of me.
The Common Line Blue (Prosotas nora ardates) was really common on the ground. Hoping that it might be other look-alike species, I just snapped a few shots.
Two different individuals of the Tailless Line Blue (Prosotas dubiosa indica). 
A small Margined Lineblue (Prosotas pia marginata) was amongst a few other Blues. 
At the higher ground where we parked our care, a Blue Tit (Hypolycaena kina kina ) came down to entertain some of us but not for long.
However, this Dark Cupid Dark Cupid (Tongeia potanini potanini) was more obliging; it remained in the vicinity for a longer period of time - but I was a bit lazy to go for more shots.
A long-tailed lycaenid, the Common Imperial (Cheritra freja evansi), a different subspecies from what we have in Singapore, landed in front of me. I went down to take snap this shot.

Many thanks to Dr Seow (from BC forums) and Les (on the ground) who helped me to identify most of the skippers posted here.   

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Butterfly Paradise at Chiang Dao (Northern Thailand) Part 4

Continue from last post

In the early afternoon on 14 Oct, Antonio drove up the hill and parked the car at a spot where it was seen to be safe for us to walk around and hunt for butterflies.

Thanks to Les's sharp eyes, he spotted a Brown Prince (Rohana parvata burmana) along the roadside. We kept chasing it until we snapped some pictures of its upper and undersides.

Sad to say, about 10 minutes later Khew witnessed how this poor chap was knocked by a car, depriving Sunny and Antonio their chance of getting their pluses. In order to meet the Prince again, we came to the same spot on 16 Oct - this time there were quite a number Princes there to welcome us. 
Its "cousin", the Black Prince (Rohana parisatis siamensis) was spotted at the foothill though. The 
uppersides of the male are really dark and uninteresting.
But his undersides are slightly more attractive.
There were at least two Intermediate Maplets (Chersonesia intermedia intermedia) fluttering skittishly and puddling intermittently on the ground.
One Common Map (Cyrestis thyodamas thyodamas) appeared on our 2nd day (16 Oct). At one moment it stayed rather still, sipping nnutrient solutions from the soil.
I spotted only one Club Beak (Libythea myrrha sanguinalis) near the entrance barricade. It remained on the ground for awhile.
The Banded Dandy (Laringa horsfieldi glaucescens) is a small Nymphalid. This guy really enjoyed its food from the soil,  puddling on the ground and changing its poses. 
 It also showed us its undersides occasionally.
A solitary Lemon Pansy (Junonia lemonias lemonias) was enjoying its quiet moment on some wild flowers. I could see that it was not the main shooting target for others, I decided to take a few shots.  
Being rather active and sensitive to my movement, this Vagrans sinha sinha (Vagrant) made me work hard to snap a quick underside shot when it decided to stop flapping its wings for a few seconds.
The Lethe confusa confusa (The Banded Treebrown) was shot on a grass patch at the edge of the puddling ground.
I remember I shot a Red Lacewing (Cethosia biblis biblis) rather hastily when we were just about to dive up the mountain.  
Later in the day, a record open-winged shot of another Red Lacewing was taken opposite where our car was parked. 
While walking up-and-down along a stretch of road up in the mountain, we saw some dead butterflies lying on the road. They might have been knocked down or run over by vehicles. 

This guy which looks like the Melanitis phedima ganapati (Dark Evening Brown) flew across the road and landed on the ground.
There were quite a few Yythima species flitting around but only these two presented me with shooting opportunities. Though not a very pristine specimen, this Y. confusa with two prominent eyespots attracted my attention.
 This Pallid Fivering (Ypthima savara savara) was found resting on the roadside.

I will show some skippers and lycaenids in my next post.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Butterfly Paradise at Chiang Dao (Northern Thailand) Part 3

Continue from last post

There were a few black-and-white butterflies on the ground at different time of the day. This is The Clear Sailor (Neptis clinia susruta- a rather skittish Sailor which tested my determination of shooting both its undersides and uppersides.
It kept flapping its wings and didn't stay still on the ground. So I was quite happy to get a record shot. 
Another very skittish Neptis species, the Neptis magadha magadha (The Spotted Sailor) also didn't offer me any good opportunity of shooting its uppersides. 
 However, I managed to take a better shot of its undersides.
Along a stretch of the Chiang Dao hill slope, another Neptis species, the Sullied Brown Sailor (Neptis nata adipala) was flitting to-and-fro. It took me a while to snap this shot.
After shooting its uppersides, I found it very tough to get a decent shot of its undersides - this was the best shot I could get as it never stayed still with wings folded fully.
My last shot of a Neptis species was this Yerbury's Sailor (Neptis yerburii pandoces). Flitting close to the ground most of the time, it rested a few seconds - long enough for me to snap a few quick shots.
 It changed its perch often. However, it was just too shy to show me the undersides.
Just like the Sailors (Neptis species), many Athyma butterflies are cladded with black-and-white "outfit". This Studded Sergeant (Athyma asura asura) was alone at one corner when I spotted it.
In the late afternoon on 14 Oct, another I encounter another specimen loitering inside a hut.
With patience, I finally got a chance to capture its underside.
There were at least a couple of the  Athyma selenophora bahula (The Staff Sergeant). This was the more pristine one.
The undersides were exposed when it enjoyed the nutrient from the soil.
I saw Les and Khew stalking this guy quite persistently along a roadside. I thought it was another Athyma species until I had a glimpse of its undersides - it was an Emperor! the Sailor Emperor (Mimathyma chevana chevana). A distant record shot was the only chance I could showcase this skittish guy.    
Just like my last visit in early November, the Indian Purple Emperor (Mimathyma ambica miranda) was abundant. 
The blue colour that we see here was due to the reflection of the light from the structure of its wings.
If I took a shot from a certain angle, the striking blue structural colour would show fully.
I had a hard time shooting this very skittish Symbrenthia hypselis sinis (The Himalayan Jester). This was the only shot I got when it landed on the roadside.
The Common Jester (Symbrenthia lilaea lilaea) was a lot more abundant than The Himalayan Jester.
More butterfly shots will be posted in my next post.