Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Quiet Day in Central Catchment Area

I met up with fellow ButterflyCircle members SC and Koh at Thomson Plaza on a nice and cooling Saturday (1 Aug) morning. When Koh arrived at around 9:30 am, we were on our way to explore the forest.

Just outside the forest, we saw this Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) resting on a grass blade. This was my first sighting of a Plain Tiger along this part of the forest fringe. This is a male as there are four black discal spots on the underside hindwing.

Pygmy Grass Blue (Zizula hylax pygmaea) is a very small but common butterfly which usually flutters amongst wild flowers at low level, along road sides or forest edges. This species can be easily mixed up with another equally common and look-alike species, Lesser Grass Blue (Zizina otis lampa). On the hindwing underside of Pygmy Grass Blue, apart from the three spots near the base, other discal and post-discal spots form a circular shape.Here is another shot from a different angle when this loving couple changed their position slightly.

Before we entered the forest, a female dragonfly was found resting peacefully on a slender stem of a climber. I had to wait patiently for the stem to stop swaying in the morning breeze to get a few shots. Malay Viscount (Tanaecia pelea pelea) is another very common forest resident. We usually find it making short gliding flights from perch to perch on the upperside of a leaf on a sunlit day.SC spotted this large pupa belonging to a Papilionid butterfly. It was dead and I could see some small flies or perhaps wasps flying around it. What a sad ending for this pupa.This small but very attractive and prominent black-spotted red beetle was found on a leaf along the main forest trail. The edges of its shell (or the wings ?) look fluffy to me. The rather long and multi-segmented antennae really look interesting and unusual.
Here is a dorsal view. This shot shows how reflective the surface of the beetle is. Shooting without an external flash in a shady forested environment, I was greatly challenged to get a good shot of this tiny beauty. Is this a moth or a butterfly ? Make a guess before you read on. Many butterfly photographers were fooled by this forest moth before as it behaves and looks very similar to a butterfly in the field. It belongs to the moth family Callidulidae and there is a few similar species that we may encounter in the forest undergrowth.

This hairy moth caterpillar was found foraging on a leaf surface. Not sure what it is. I spotted a lurking spider resting on a leaf not far away from the caterpillar, perhaps waiting for its prey coming to its way.A rather quiet day in terms of butterfly activities in the forest, our outing to this stretch of forest ended when the sky turned gloomy. After a quick lunch (where we met BJ and CM) we headed for Bah Soon Pah Road where Butterfly Lodge is situated.

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