Friday, May 22, 2015

Butterflies @ Chiang Dao Part 3

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My first shot of a skipper on 16 March was this Himalayan Forest Darter (Ochlodes brahma). A glimpse of the golden brown forewing was quite distinctive. 
A Golden Ace (Thoressa masoni) appeared on the puddling ground in the early afternoon. 
Before we called it a day at Chiang Dao Square in the late afternoon, I spotted an co-operative Tawny Angle (Ctenoptilum vasava vasava) enjoying its dinner in a shade.
I must thank Chng who drove a few of us to Chiang Dao Square in the early morning of 18 March  to hunt for Awls or other butterflies. True enough, there were three different skippers zipping around which kept us busy for a while.

This Orange-tailed Awl (Bibasis sena) was rather pristine and it had the tendency to come back to the same place to feed.
The Common Orange Awlet (Burara harisa harisa).
This Common Awl (Hasora badra badra) was the most alert and skittish fellow. I got to be very patient, waiting for it to rest on a front wheel of Chng's car. Shortly after this shot, we went back to Nest2 for breakfast - just a 10-minute drive from Chiang Dao Square.
After breakfast, we began another day of shooting at the Chaing Dao Square.A Himalayan Forest Darter (Ochlodes brahma) which liked to puddle on the ground and occasionally opened its wings partially. 
 Its uppersides.
A Tuffed Ace (Sebastonyma pudens ) appeared in the afternoon but it didn't stay on the ground for long.
Thanks to Simon for telling me where this Common White Flat (Gerosis bhagava bhagava) was.
A Grey-Pie Flat (Coladenia laxmi) was zipping around behind a hut but I could not get a shot until it appeared on the damp sandy ground in the late afternoon.

To be continued

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Butterflies @ Chiang Dao Part 2

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We were fortunate to see the Gray Tinsel (Catapaecilma major albicans) roaming on the ground on both days when we were shooting at the "Chiang Dao Square".
The Yellow Tinsel (Catapaecilma subochrea) was another star attraction - at one moment, all of us were lying on the ground in a circular manner to photograph this beauty.
The White Lineblue (Nacaduba angusta albida) can be singled out easily among other puddling Blues.
The marking of this Nacaduba species look strange so I decided to snap some shots. Dr Seow from BC identified it as The Large Fourline Blue (Nacaduba pactolus continentalis).
Then dry season form of the Common Cerulean (Jamides celeno aelianus) looks so different from its usual appearance - I thought it was something new for me.
Dr Seow explained that the presence of the "spike"  on the hindwing space 1b indicates that it is a Jamides species. This looks like a  J. bochus bochus (The Dark Cerulean)  though its ground colour looks rather whitish.
The Karen Silverline (Cigaritis maximus) was spotted by Les at the entrance of the carpark area.
A lucky shot of its uppersides.
You need a pair of sharp eyes to single out a rather small lycaenid, the Black Spotted Cupid (Tongeia ion ion) among many lycaenids puddling on the ground.
Another small lycaenid,  the Dark Cupid (Tongeia potanini potanini) mingled with many other lycaenids. This was the moment when its surrounding butterflies were "chased away".
There were not many White-banded Pierrots (Niphanda asialis) this time - a small species that blended with the ground so well that it could not be spotted easily.
The Common Peirrot (Castalius rosimon rosimon) seemed to be a common species at Chiang Dao. 
I hardly encountered an Arhopala  puddling on the ground in Singapore. But at Chiang Dao, I noticed two different Arhopala species feeding on the ground - this is the Silver Oakblue (Arhopala alax).
This is the Dusky Bushblue (Arhopala paraganesa).
A lonely Dusky Sapphire (Heliophorus evanta) was wandering on the ground, climbing over the obstacles.
The Common Plum Judy (Abisara echerius paionea) was spotted by Khew along a stretch of foliage behind a dry drain.          
I found this "Ring" butterfly rather unique as I could not see any ocelli on the hindwing. It was rather active, kept moving on the ground. According to Dr Seow, this could be the dry-season form of the Ypthima lisandra (The Jewel Fouring).
A Copper Flash (Rapala pheretima petosiris) was rather tame so I decided to snap a few shots.

To be continued.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Butterflies @ Chiang Dao Part 1

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We checked out Dome Residence on 16 March and headed to Chiang Dao. About an hour smooth journey, we arrived at the "Chiang Dao Square" - a parking area at the entrance to Chiang Dao Wild Life Reserve. Let me start with some bigger and more noticeable butterflies. 

The Common Gaudy Baron (Euthalia lubentina lubentina) caught my attention when it flew past me and landed on the ground. 
Look at this Red-Based Jezebel (Delias pasithoe) appeared to be "floating" on the water.
The wing shape of the Common Tailed Sulfur (Dercas verhuelli.) is quite unique and  the positions of the "tails" are rather unusual. 
The Common Tree-Brown (Lethe confusa confusa) seemed to be a permanent resident of Chiang Dao.
At around 2 pm on 16 March, a few of us went up the hill. Unlike last October, there were not many butterflies this time, instead there many irritating bees buzzing around me and I got stung twice.

This pristine Popinjay (Stibochiona nicea subucula) changed its perch a few times before it got used to our presence.
At a sunlit spot, a few black-and-white butterflies were fluttering and puddling on the gravel road. The Long-stick Sailor (Neptis nashona aagaardi ) was one of them - a very alert fellow which did not give me any chance getting  a closer shot
This looks like a Plain Sailor (Neptis cartica burmana) which was more cooperative.
Another look-alike, the Yerbury's Sailor (Neptis yerburii pandoces) (Correction this is Neptis soma shania) was found along the same stretch of road where the car was parked.
Another Yerbury's Sailor (Neptis-yerburii-pandoces) -
I managed to snap a quick shot of its undersides. 
The Short-banded Sailor (Phaedyma columella martabana ) was hanging around the water basin in the late afternoon at Chiang Dao "Square".
Its black-and-white  uppersides look very similar to other Neptis species.
The Spotted Palmfly (Elymnias malelas malelas) was quite skittish but it kept coming back to the same puddling ground where many bees were found on the ground.
I like the undersides of the Indian Fritillary (Argyreus hyperbius hyperbius). When this solitary beauty appeared on the puddling ground, it created a lot of fun and excitement for us.
It was quite skittish at first but once it got used to our presence, we were free to snap as many shots as we wanted
The iridescent blue uppersides of this female Courtesan (Euripus nyctelius nyctelius) attracted our attention. 
Her undersides were less sparkling though.
In the late afternoon on 16 March, we checked in Nest2 - a nice resort about 10-minute drive away from our shooting ground.

To be continued.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Butterflies @ Doi Inthanon

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On 20 March, we were honoured to have two experts Les and Inayoshi-san joined us in our  "butterfly-hunting" trip to Doi Inthanon. After a long drive, our first stop is the waterfall at the Siribhum Royal Garden.

A high leafy perch of this Black Forester (Lethe vindhya vindhya) was an cooperative model for most of us. 
This tiny Forest Quaker (Pithecops corvus corvus) was alert and it didn't give me a second chance for another shot. 
A Hill Jezebel (Delias belladonna hedybia) was puddling on a foot path leading to the waterfall.
This Arhopala looks like the A. bazalus which was puddling on a sandy ground next to the Hill Jezebel.
A solitary Sapphire looks like the Helioiphorus ila nolus was changing perches a few times before settling on a fern.
At noon, we went further up the hill. Inayoshi-san pointed out to us that this was the Variable Sailor (Neptis zaida inayoshi). It was skittish at first but it got used to our persistent chasing after a while.
One of the highlights of the day was the sighting of this nice butterfly - a female French Duke (Euthalia franciae raja). She was quite obliging when we approached her closer to snap some shots of her beauty. 
The undersides were quite beautiful under certain lighting condition - but I wasn't presented with such opportunities. 
We finally reached a resort site where we spent the rest of the afternoon looking for butterflies. Thanks to Sunny who alerted me about this magnificent  female Grand Duchess (Euthalia patala taooana) which came down to puddle on the ground.

While waiting for this Duchess to appear again, I wandered around the vicinity and managed to get some shots of the undersides of a rather skittish Variable Sailor.
The Duchess in fact came back to the same place quite frequently and all of us managed to get some shots.
Before we called it a day, a Yellow Jazebel (Delias agostina agostina) attracted our attention when it stayed on the wet ground for sometime.
To be continued.