Monday, July 13, 2009

Loving Couples @ Central Catchment

In order to pass a book to Horace, I arranged to meet him for an lunch-time outing to our nature reserves on 7 July, hoping to tap on his luck and acumen in the field to spot or shoot some rare butterfly species that were found around the area . As I reached there early, I checked around the forest fringes.

Mating is animal’s instinct to prolong their existence by producing sufficient number of offspring. This Common Four Ring (Ypthima huebneri) was caught in this intimate position. They were rather shy and flew away whenever I came close to them. My first sighting of this black moth which has some greenish-white spots on the upperside wings. It stayed very still for me to take a few shots until I was attracted by another highly acrobatic and loving couple nearby.
Photographing any mating damsel and dragonflies could be quite challenging. I believe this couple is Orthetrum testaceum. They were very sensitive to movement. In this photograph, the female attaches the tip of her abdomen to the base of the male’s abdomen to receive the sperm and she secures herself by using her legs to clasp the abdomen of the male while the last segment of the male's abdomen resting on the female's head. I also noticed that the male did the flying all the time.

Dragonflies and damselflies belong to the insect order Odonata. It is characterized by the adults having two pairs of membranous wings which are divided into many cells by a fine and delicate network of veins.

Here is another shot when the couple decided to take a short rest on a grass blade at my eye level. This pristine Peacock Pansy (Junonia almana javana ) was sunbathing in the early morning. Occasionally it was quite lethargic on a perch like this, inviting me to take a few shots.There were a few tall and hardy Costus Speciosus around the forest edge. This attractive sun-loving native plant with large and showy white flowers not only has horticultural values, its rhizome is edible and believed to have some medicinal uses.

These shots here were taken before Horace's arrival at around noon. Shortly after we went into the forest, the dark clouds and the rain drops gave us clear signals that we had to abandon our outing. What a disappointing day !

Was it a prelude to the El Nino effect or something amiss has been brewing for our weather ? The weather on most days last week was rather abnormal and erratic – not the usual scorching heat and high humidity that we would expect for the month of July and a sunny morning could turn into a pea-soup day in a matter of a few minutes.


  1. Nice shot of the mating dragonflies. My first time seeing it :)

  2. Thanks Siyang.
    They were quite skittish and it was a lucky shot.

  3. Do you know the name of the black moth with the white spots?