Sunday, July 13, 2014

Butterflies @ Upper Peirce Reservoir Park

It has been quite sometime since my last visit to the Upper Peirce Reservoir Park (UPR).  On a breezy and cool Saturday morning (29 June), I found strolling along this quiet and long Old Upper Thomson Road that snaking through the lush greenery on both sides of the road, very rewarding.  

My first sighting of a butterfly was a beautiful lycaenid, Semanga superba deliciosa. It tested my patience and perseverance before offering me a relatively good perch for some quick shots.
Fluttering around a shrub, this Commander (Moduza procris milonia) kept coming back to the same plant  She appeared to be looking for the correct host plant for ovipositing her eggs.
Some small flowers of  a Leea indica shrub attracted this Yellow Vein Lancer (Pyroneura latoia latoia). It changed  its  perch a few times but is quite cooperative for me to snap a few shots.  
I spotted Horsefield's Baron (Tanaecia iapis pusea) quite often in my previous outings but I always had no luck of getting a good shot. No exception again, this was my best shot of a male from a distance near the reservoir edge. 
In Singapore, the Common Four Ring (Ypthima huebneri) is the smallest species of the genus Ypthima. There were many "Ring" butterflies along a trail leading to reservoir edge - this is just one of them I managed to get a shot.    
Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe contubernalis) was abundant, fluttering around and feeding voraciously on a flowering Leea indica tree before the car park.
The moment I set in a shelter, I was very reluctant to move again. I really enjoyed the picturesque scene at UPR - the reflection of the greenery in the crystal clear water of the reservoir and the serenity of the park. UPR is a perfect place for a person to relax the mind and refresh the body - is a paradise on earth. .  

As the clock ticked away I had to make my way out. I noticed there were quite a number of reddish-pink flowers under a big tree  - no idea what this is.
Walking on a different side of the road while I was on my way out, I noticed a lycaenid butterfly flitting around a tree which bore many small flower buds.  It turned out to be a rather shy Chocolate Royal (Remelana jangala travana) which  kept staying away from me with high perches. 
A Narrow Spark (Sinthusa nasaka amba) also made its appearance on the same tree for a short period of time. But I had no luck of getting a good shot of it.
A rather small Horaga species surprised me. It was flitting down from the canopy and landed on some flower buds. She appeared laying eggs on a flower bud but I could not find any egg with my naked eyes.
I must go back to hunt for this Horaga butterfly again - as it appeared "strange" to me.

This blog will not be updated until early August as I will be going for two overseas trips during the next two-three weeks.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Quiet Morning @ Upper Seletar Reservoir Park

A late morning outing to Upper Seletar Reservoir (USR) Park on 21 June begun with a shot of this beautiful moth along the first trail.
It was a rather quiet morning. So when I found a mating pair of a Ring butterfly, I didn't give up chasing them. The six ocelli on the hindwing confused me. They were identified by Dr Seow to be a Malayan Five Ring (Ypthima horsfieldii humei) .
It was a very quiet morning. So I just took anything that cross my sight. This is a robberfly.
The Acacia Blue (Surendra vivarna amisena) is a common butterfly which can be found in forested areas or along forest fringes. I was rather lucky to find this solitary specimen on a perch behind a leaf 
The Grey Sailor (Neptis leucoporos cresina) is another common forest denizen. Very sensitive of slight movement, it took off  several times whenever I went closer towards it. This was one of the shots when it landed in front of me lasting a few seconds.
Here is another moth.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Colony of Grey Pansy @ Mandai Track 15

After the morning rain on 14 June, I dropped by Mandai Track 15 in the late afternoon. As expected, the cool weather might have made the forest critters lethargic and inactive. For a long period of time I was just strolling along the quiet forest trail andoccasionally on the tarred road. 

Finally I came to an open space where a colony of Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites atlites)  was spotted fluttering and feeding on some Bidens flowers. 
These Grey Pansies were very alert and didn't seem to like my presence. Getting a decent shot required a lot of patience and luck.
I guess this is a Contiguous Swift (Polytremis lubricans lubricans) resting on a leaf surface.
A couple of Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana javana) was fighting for nectar amongst the Grey Pansies.
I could not get a proper underside shot of this Dart skipper, a Potanthus species.  
A glimpse of the underside shot was the best I could get as it opened its wings within  a split of a second.
On may way back to the "main gate", this Gram Blue (Euchrysops cnejus cnejus) presented a very nice pose for me to snap a few shots. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lornie Trail in a Late Afternoon

A cloudy and rainy Saturday morning on 7 June confined me to staying indoor at my in-law's place for the whole morning. After getting some work done and with sunshine beginning to pierce through the thin clouds, I decided to drop by Lornie Trail (LT) en route to home.
Though it was quite late in the afternoon when I reached LT, a few critters were still active flitting around along the forest trails. A small but beautiful dragonfly was seen on a dry leaf -  Is this an immature Rubescens rubeola ?
A male Malayan Lacewing (Cethosia hypsea hypsina)  was visiting some flowers of a Leea indica shrub at the reservoir edge - one of my favourite spots for shooting butterflies.
A lovely male Crimson Sunbird  (Aethopuga siparaja)  was perching and feeding on a row of  Heliconia flowers. I approached it closer and snapped a few shots while it kept surveying the surroundings.
One of my field observations of Lycaenids was that they were more likely to open their wings for sunbathing in the late afternoon. The uppersides of the male Common Red Flash (Rapala iarbus iarbus) were stunning. But getting a good shot at this beauty above my eye level was too great a challenge for me.
The wings began to open up slowly (but partially most of the times) whenever it landed on a sunny new perch. 
I sped up my pace walking towards the boardwalk. Beside the SICC golf course, a few skippers caught my attention even though they were resting in some shade. I believe this was a Palm Dart (Telicota augias augias). 
This is likely to be a Lesser Dart (Potanthus omaha omaha).
A wasp was busy feeding on some flowers of the Mile-a-Minute. 
Just before the Golf Link boardwalk, I noticed a a Logania  marmorata damis kept fluttering erratically. It finally perched underneath a leaf where some ants were present too.
I turned back as time didn't allow me to wait for this skittish guy to perch again. On may way home, on the same Leea indica shrub, a Yellow-veined Lancer (Pyroneura latoia latoia) was hooked on one isolated flower for a long time.
The female Malayan Baron (Euthalia monina monina)  was puddling on the trail leading to Lornie Road.
I was quite surprised that the butterfly activities were quite good in the late afternoon. Perhaps it was due to the morning rain that they had to feed late in the afternoon to get enough food for next day.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Butterfly Species @ Jurong-Eco Garden

It has been a long time since my last visit to a wild place in the western part of the island. On a humid and hot Saturday morning (24 May), I dropped by at a new man-made garden behind the CleanTech Park outside Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Jalan Bahar - now I know it is called the Jurong- Eco Garden

Before I spotted any butterfly species, I was attracted by some "boulders" all with pointed ends, sitting uprightly at a quiet corner of the garden. An iconic and unique "landmark" of this garden, it is named the Sculpted Maze - an excellent piece of work created by our local pottery artist Mr Steven Low Thia Kwang.  
My first butterfly shot in the morning was this male Malayan Baron. Though it was skittish and alert, I could snap a few shots if I stayed still  patiently waiting for it to feed on the fermented fruits of the Singapore Rhododendron.
The male of this species has three different forms which can be distinguished from the uppersides - this is form-decorata.
Though this Tawny Palmfly (Elymnias panthera panthera) was competing with the Malayan Baron for the fruits, it was less aggressive and willing to wait for its turn to feed on the fruits.
There are a few look-alike "black-and-white" butterflies in Singapore. I wasn't sure which species this was when I saw this skittish fellow fluttering around a tree, "pretending" to oviposit. I think this is a Studded Sergeant (Athyma asura idita) which I have not seen it for a long time.
This is a  female Nacaduba species that we can't be 100% sure of  its identification - it was spotted along the forest fringe along the boundary of the garden.

The Malayan Eggfly (Hypolimnas anomala anomala) is a common butterfly. The male occurs in two forms. This is form-nivas which has a prominent patch of diffused white markings on the hindwing. [Note : in this write-up, the butterfly identified as Dwarf Crow should be The Malayan Eggfly. The other wrongly identified butterfly is labelled as the Blue Helen]
Before I went to explorer the forested area, I saw a Common Birdwing (Troides helena cerberus) fluttering overhead and finally feeding on some Ixora flowers - it was so difficult to get a good close-up shot when it refused to stay still at one feeding position. 
Generally, it was a quiet and disappointing outing for me as I didn't encounter any of  the rare species that we used to see in the forested areas next to the garden - not a good sign !!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Reservoir Edge Opposite Sembawang Park Connector

The thunderstorms followed by intermittent passing showers on Saturday 17 May lasted the whole morning. In the late afternoon around 3 pm, the sun started to warm the ground. So, I decided heading out to Mandai, opposite the Sembawang Park Connector. 

My first shot of the afternoon at the reservoir edge was a pink critter, perhaps a nymph of  a shield bug. It was found on a Singapore Rhododendron leaf.
A rather common but colourful and attractive shield bug was seen at the same location before. In fact, I could find more of this bug when I search around the plants carefully.
I am not sure if this damselfly is Onychargia atrocyana which perched at the tip of a blade of grass.
The Common Palmfly (Elymnias hypermnestra agina) tends to be very skittish and sensitive to movement. However when it was feeding, we might have a chance to take a few shots.
A female Malay Baron (Euthalia monina monina) was at rest in the late afternoon under a shady spot.
A Malay Viscount (Tanaecia pelea pelea) was flitting around before settling down on a leaf of the Singapore Rhododendron.
I am not sure if this is a kind of Ricaniid planthopper. It was turning its wings up and down while I was taking this shot.