Sunday, May 17, 2009

Butterflies@Wild Wild West 9 May (Part 2)

Butterflies are usually my main macro subjects for photographing during my outings. This was no exception on 9 May even though many other insects were found foraging on Bidens pilosa flowers which were blooming.

The Bush Hopper (Ampittia dioscorides camertes) is quite a small and relatively uncommon skipper in Singapore. I usually found it singly on grasslands. A series of parallel submarginal black markings on the underside hindwing , the prominent bright orange patches in both the forewing cell and the post-discal region are some of the distinguishing characteristics. Here is another shot. On both occasions, I wish I could get myself more parallel to the butterfly.
Danaus chrysippus chrysippus (Plain Tiger) is rather common in Singapore. It has a characteristic of a slow meandering flight and moves forward with a few wing beats followed by a short spell of gliding. This is an unpalatable poisonous species that some birds and lizards would avoid. The chemical substances that deter the predators are mostly assimilated by the caterpillar in the larval stage and then passed on to the adult through the pupa.
Here is another shot of the Danaus melanippus hegesippus (Black Veined Tiger). There were three individuals sighted. This male Black Veined Tiger decided to take a few seconds of afternoon nap, allowing me to get a distant shot. In Singapore the genus Spindasis has two species S. lohita senam (Long Banded Silverline ) and this one S. syama terana (Club Silverline). The silvery lines on the black bordered streaks on the underside wings make this species unique and attractive. Some of us spent quite some time photographing this beauty. Generally, it is not too difficult to photograph this species as it usually remains quite docile on its perch. However, when it took off, it flew so fast that we had difficulties following its course. Fortunately, it has a tendency to perch again nearby. This is another shot of the same specimen which has lost one of the tails. What a pity ! On first look, this specimen looks like a S. lohita senam (Long Banded Silverline). In fact this is another specimen of S. syama terana (Club Silverline) because there are 3 disjoint spots on the underside forewing in space 1b and the forewing basal reddish black streak runs almost parallel to the costal margin as compared to the L-shaped streak on S. lohita senam.
Muntingia calabura (Cherry Tree) (Family : Elaeocarpaceae ) is a fast-growing and common evergreen wasteland shrub which can grow on poor soils. The leaf arrangement is simple and alternate and the margin of the hairy leaves are toothed. The bisexual flowers are quite small and white in colour, bearing round and flashy fruits.
This is a Katydid I suppose. It was so well-camouflaged that I almost missed it. I didn't really pay attention to dragonfly during this outing. However, I could not resist taking a shot on this cooperative female Neurothemis fluctuans.

A very small wasp-like critter appeared in front of me from nowhere. The awkward angle that it landed on the dry flowers giving me no chance of getting a satisfactory frontal shot.

This was my third or fourth visit to this remote site (for me) in the western part of Singapore. I believe there is a good potential of discovering rare critters here.

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