Saturday, June 27, 2009

Winged Beauties @ Endau Rompin (Selai) Part 2

Please read Part 1 if you have not done so. Thanks.

We were charged RM$60 per night for each hut which is equipped with a fan and power supply, big enough for two to sleep comfortably.
The dinning area is just beside the sandy river banks.
Most puddling shots posted here were taken on Day 2 around 2 to 4 pm along this stretch of river bank.There were two male Great Mormon (Papilio memnon agenor) flapping their forewings continuously while siphoning liquids from the sandy soils. This shot was taken at 1/800 in order to freeze the forewings. Eurema simulatrix tecmessa (1st shot below) and Eurema sari sodalis (Chocolate Grass Yellow) are two lookalikes. Quite often, these two different species from the Pieridae family were seen puddling in the same vicinity. Can you distinguish these two species? Look at the differences in their forewing apical brown patches. Waiting nearby with minimum movement, patience and tolerance of the scorching heat, we would be able to photograph them quite easily as these Yellows would get used to our presence and continue to puddle.
SC shot a Bibasis sena uniformis (Orange-Tail Awl) on Day 2 early morning before we had breakfast. I missed it. Luckily another very pristine specimen appeared on Day 3 morning around 7 plus – very early indeed. It was very alert initially, however, it became very tame and cooperative once it found a juicy spot for its morning nutrition supply. Look at the long proboscis, you know what it was doing. Having a strong and rapid flight, Polyura athamas athamas (Common Nawab) loves to puddle and is rather common in Malaysia however it has not been found in Singapore. Besides the river banks, we encountered at least two individuals along the road leading to the base camp. This species is highly similar to what we have in Singapore, Polyura hebe plautus (Plain Nawab). From what I observed on the forewing beneath, Common Nawab has two small black basal dots and a row of postdiscal crescent-shaped markings. Graphium evemon eventus (Blue Jay) was abundant and they came down in good numbers puddling on the moist river banks. Once they got used to our close proximity with them , we could easily take many shots. I was really lucky to capture and freeze a bee flying towards this Blue Jay.Look at a similar species below. Can you spot the difference? Graphium eurypylus mecisteus (Great Jay) was never in my mind when I shot this species. I thought it was a Graphium doson evemonides (Common Jay). The disjoint bands at the hindwing costal region where the red dot is, separates this species from Common Jay which can be found in Pulau Ubin. There was one male Euploea radamanthus radamanthus (Magpie Crow) hanging around at our huts. It was a very skittish guy but on the 3rd day morning, it decided to puddle at the river banks. This was a lucky shot when it just took off from puddling.
This Curetis santana malayica (Malayan Sunbeam) was spotted in the late afternoon when its intense orange colour of its uppersides caught our eyes. This Lesser Albatross (Appias paulina distanti) was my very last puddling shot taken at the ER before the 4WD came to fetch us. Thanks Yong for pointing this to me. We met this guy trying to puddle along the main forest trail. From the shape of the forewings and its gliding style, we knew that it was an Athyma species. We stalked quite a while before we could get a decent shot. After checking, I feel that this is Athyma reta moorei (Malay Staff Sergeant) though the extra small white spots on the forewing postdiscal region did cast some doubt on the id. The last shot is Neptis leucoporos cresina (Grey Sailor) which is common in Singapore. I am sure you can you see the differences between them.In part 3, I will write about some other non-puddling winged beauties that I encountered at ER.


1. The Butterflies of The Malay Peninsula, A.S. Corbet and H.M. Pendlebury, 4th Edition, Malayan Nature Society.

2. Butterflies of Thailand, Pisuth Ek-Amnuay, 1st Edition, 2006

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