Friday, August 21, 2015

Two Rare Butterflies Near Jurong Eco Green

The Jurong Eco Green (JEG) garden and a small patch of forested area nearby were my favourite wild places for my weekend outing-cum-photographing session. So I was there alone on a fine Saturday morning (25 July).

The forested area is next to the NTU's Community Herbs garden which is now overgrown with lots of wild grasses and thick shrubs and becomes quite inaccessible. As I tried to locate a trail that I used to walk on, I  bumped into a few skippers zipping around me.

This rather skittish but rare skipper, the Spotted Flitter (Zographetus doxus) gave me a hard time tracking it before I could snap a record shot. 
Potanthus species which does not look like the P. omaha also came to entice me.
I think this is the Lesser Dart (P. omaha omaha).
A cluster of flowers caught my attention next to the herbs garden.

I felt a little in-secured looking for butterflies in this shady  and mosquitoes-infested forested area so I decided to walked towards the JEG garden.

At the edge of the forested area, I spotted a small colony of Harlequins (Taxila haquinus haquinus) -my first time spotting this vulnerable species at this location.
A male Harlequin was perching quite tamely on the edge of a leaf - he gave me ample time to compose a few shots.
I spent some time looking for other butterflies at the vicinity of the Harlequin but in vain.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Highest Point on Pulau Ubin

On a fine Saturday morning on 18 July, I arrived at the hawker centre at Changi Village early for a cup of coffee and  before heading towards Pulau Ubin.  

A very hairy moth larva was feeding on a leaf of a Crotoloria pea at the foot of the Butterfly Hill.
I decided to wander along the seaside at a camp site this time - the breeze was really refreshing. Walking up a gentle slope, I was attracted by a yellow leaf beetle foraging on a leaf.
This was my first encounter of  a lacewing fly on Pulau Ubin. A soft-bodied insect with four membranous wings, Lacewing fly is rather rare to me as I hardly encountered one in the field.
After spending some time at the Butterfly Hill on a rather quiet morning, I made my way towards the western side of the island. 

Standing at 74m above the sea level, the Bukit Puaka is the highest point on Pulau Ubin. With a skipper in mind, I walked up the hill. At the hilltop, a colony of Malayan Plum Judy (Abisara saturata kausamboides) kept me busy for a while.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Butterflies of Taiwan Part 3

Continue from here

We went to the zoo and its surrounding areas on 12 June. After taking a quick breakfast at a fast food stall inside the zoo, we headed to a small butterfly enclosure.

There were quite a number of  異色尖粉蝶 Chocolate Albatross (Appias lyncida eleonora)  in the enclosure. In Singapore, we rarely see a female so I decided to take a few shots of a rather tame female, resting at one corner. 
Hoping to freeze the flapping wings, I had to take a few shots of this 黑鳳蝶(Papolio protenor protenor) at a high speed while it was feeding furiously on some flowers.
The zoo is quite large and there are pockets of wild places that we could find butterflies flitting around. At first, I thought this skittish and large butterfly was a Bush Brown but after checking some reference books this guy should be the 褐翅蔭眼蝶 (Neope muirheadi nagasawae) which perched on a fallen tree trunk, at a distance away. 
At the same location, a 凹翅紫灰蝶 (Mahathala ameria haianani) also rested on a leaf  far away from me. 
 A 細帶環蛺蝶(Neptis nata lutatia) was flitting outside the enclosure. It really enticed me to take some shots.
We left Puli town early on 14 June and headed towards the direction of  清境農場. While driving up the hill, we stopped at a few locations. At last, we decided to wander on a trail leading to a ravine. 

There were a few butterflies feeding on nectar in the morning sun. But most of them were rather alert and skittish, including this, possibly a 緣點白粉蝶(Pieris canidia).
I believe this is a Potanthus species feeding on a Bidens flower.
Another Potanthus speices ?
Is this a 台灣赭弄蝶  (Ochlodes niitakanus)?
 A very alert and skittish 北黃蝶 (Eurema mandarina) kept us busy.
This was the catch of the day - the 寬帶青鳳蝶(Graphium cloanthus kuge) flying past me but suddenly decided to feed on a cluster of white flowers. It never stayed still and disappeared after a few seconds. 
There were a few 小紫斑蝶 (Euploea tulliolus koxinga) feeding on some wild flowers under the hot sun -  a different subspecies of the Dwarf Crow that we can find in Pulau Ubin. 
In the early afternoon, we went back to the farm area where we found the 閃電- but luck was not on our side this time. We hung around there for a while before we headed towards Taoyuan to meet up with 陳全 for a late lunch.

It was a very exciting and fruitful butterfly-watching and photography trip to Taipei. Many thanks to our Taiwanese butterfly enthusiasts for their generous and warm hospitality. Special thanks to 晟智 who spent time driving us around to look for and photograph the many exotic and rare butterflies of Taiwan - we certainly hope to meet again in the near future.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Short Outing to Lornie Trail

I was grounded at home on a stormy Saturday morning on 4 July. So I decided to make up for the loss of a weekly outing on the next day - a short Sunday morning outing though.

I entered the forest reserve from Lornie Road. Walking slowly along the forest trail, my first shot of the morning was a rather unattractive shield bug. 
 A rather small leaf beetle was appeared to be scavenging on a leaf - rather challenging for me to snap a good shot in the morning breeze.
Walking towards the reservoir edge to look for one of the smallest dragonflies, rather unexpectedly, I bumped into a pristine Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites atlites) flitting around and sun-bathing on some ferns. 
It has been years since I last spotted a Grey Pansy at MacRitchie area. So, I decided to spend sometime chasing and stalking it to get more shots. 
A Malay Viscount (Tanecia pelea pelea) flew past me and landed on a leaf - the duration of the perch was just enough for me to snap a quick shot. 
I moved towards the other exit to Lornie Road. A rather common forest denizen, this female Archdule (Lexias pardalis dirteana) was looking for her food on the ground.
From far, I saw a tall Caucasian with a camera trying to track a butterfly flitting around in the undergrowth. I approached closer and said hello - he is rather knowledgeable about butterflies. Nice meeting you James and welcome to Singapore - I guessed what we saw was a Malayan Lascar (Lasippa tiga siaka) perching high on a tree.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Butterflies of Taiwan Part 2

Many thanks to 晟智 for driving us to Puli on Saturday 13 June. We left Taipei City early in the morning and  heading south towards the  Nantou Province. After more than 2 hours of journey, we arrived at  our first shooting location - at a stream (I could not remember the name of the place).

My first shot of the day was this Curetis acuta formosana (銀灰蝶) spotted by the sharp eyes of our host.

 I managed to shoot another similar species, the Curetis brunnea (台灣銀灰蝶).

There were some puddling butterflies along a stream. But they were rather skittish and alert to our presence. This Cyrestis thyodamie formasana (網絲蛺蝶) was one of them.

散紋盛蛺蝶 (Symbrenthia lilaea formosanawas another skittish one which didn't stay still on the rocks along the stream.

蓬萊環蛺蝶 (Neptis taiwana) seemed to be rather common at Puli. We found a few of them along the stream.

Its upperside colour is slightly different from other Neptis species.
I must thank 晟智 for highlighting this Grass Yellow  Eurema mandarina  (北黃蝶 ) to me  - it was a different species from what we have in SG. Indeed, the shape of the hindwings are quite different.
There were quite a number Cepora nadina eunama  淡褐脈粉蝶).I managed to get some shots of this guy on a leaf before the arrival of a group of parents and children led by a butterfly enthusiast from Puli for their weekend outing.  
At the second shooting location, a small dirt road besides a farmland, we saw quite a number of puddling butterflies on the ground. The highlight of the day must be this 紅玉翠蛺蝶(Euthalia irrubescens fulguralis). He came down a few times to tease us in the early afternoon.
Another beautiful Euthalia the E. formosana  (台灣翠蛺蝶)kept me busy for awhile .
The undersides are less attractive though.
This 鋸粉蝶 (Prioneris thestylis formosana)  was initially among a  group of  Pieridae puddlers  in the late afternoon.   
This is Seseria formosana (台灣瑟弄蝶)  
When it perched on a leaf for a few seconds I quickly snapped a few shots.
This is the Polyura  narcaea meghaduta (小雙尾蛺蝶)which seemed preferring  to hang around on the wet ground in the afternoon.
Of course, there were quite a number of Papilio species puddling on the wet ground . This is  Papilio thaiwanus (台灣鳳蝶). 
琉璃翠鳳蝶(Papilio paris nakaharai ) is rather common here. They tended to congregate in a small group and kept fluttering their wings..

It was at its resting mode after it had enough nutrient solution.
Let me feature a pretty damselfly to conclude this posting.
We checked into Hotel Kim (金谷丰饭店) at 285, Nanchang St. in the town of Puli - a very affordable hotel for visitors like us.

To be continued here.