Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From the Reservoir Edge to Boardwalk

This is the continuation from my previous post. I spent quite a bit of time waiting and shooting the insects feeding on the Mikania micrantha flowers. I could notice that dragonflies were out in good numbers as well.

This blue dragonfly with many unique and striking black markings on the body is a male Acisoma panorpoides . This is a common species which can be found along the reservoir edge in our natural reserves. A close-up shot of the head. What a happy "smiling face" he seemed to present to me. This is another blue dragonfly but quite small in size. It looks like a male of Aethriamanta gracilis. He was rather lethargic, embracing the grass blade under the sun for quite sometime. This is a female dragonfly but I can't tell which species she is. There were other species of dragonflies found along the reservoir edges but they were either too far away or not cooperative. I decided to walk towards the boardwalk around noon.

I usually encountered Moduza procris milonia (Commander) foraging alone in the forest. This pristine specimen was playing hide-and-seek with me along the boardwalk. This bugger kept flapping its wings to frustrate me when it was settling on a leaf . A detailed write-up of this species can be found on BC's blog here .The underside markings and one cell spot on the hindwing suggest that this is likely to be a Eurema andersonii andersonii (Anderson's Grass Yellow). Again a forest denizen, it loves to puddle on moist soils or feeding on flowers. A very sociable species, it tends to mix around with other Yellows. Faunis canens arcesilas(Common Faun) is a drab and unattractive butterfly to many people. A very common forest resident, Common Faun tends to make short flights close to the ground. They are fond of puddling on fermented fallen fruits or birds droppings along the jungle path. Mycalesis mineus macromalayana (Dark Brand Bush Brown) is rather common in grassy patches along the forest edges or in the forest itself. The ocelli on the hindwings can be quite varied. What are the functions of these eyespots on butterfly wings ? To attract mating partner or to ward off predators ? I don't know really but I am sure scientists will find answers to these questions. There is much to be learned about butterfly ecology and behaviour in the nature. Only when we have good knowledge of their habitats and behaviour, can we then play a more effective role in butterfly conservation. In our local context, the reality at the moment is there are not many serious and enthusiastic people devoting time and effort in studying butterfly species systematically and carefully.

However, some members of ButterflyCircle (BC) have already gained very valuable experiences and skills in documenting observations related to butterfly ecology, behaviour and life history in particular. In a short period of time, BC has made many great contributions to the studying, understanding, re-discovering butterfly species here and raising the public awareness of these flying jewels. Well done BC !

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