Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Sunny Sunday @ Ubin

It was a lovely sunny Sunday on 7 Nov, thanks Khew for giving me a lift to Changi Village. KY met up with us at a coffee shop and after getting some quick bites, we were on a bumboat ride to Ubin. We went straight to the Butterfly Hill , one of my favourite hunting grounds for butterflies.

We were extremely delighted to see flowering Syzygium trees (Syzygium myrtifolium ?) The white fluffy flower parts covered almost the whole tree. There were lots of carpenter bees (both Xylocopa confusa and Xylocopa latipes were spotted), wasps, perhaps hornets and of course butterflies feeding on the flowering trees, creating a magnificent scene that I have not seen for a long time. Here is record shot of a Xylocopa latipes. This shot may be a male of Xylocopa caerulea according to John.This is a Sphecid wasp (Sphex species). Just like other bees and wasps, it had insatiable appetite for nectar, feeding voraciously from flower to flower. The flowers really attracted all sorts of insects. This Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris macrina) was feeding next to a beetle. They were so close. I wonder why didn't they scare each other away. These two beetles have very similar shape, size as well as the white spots on the body. The only difference I can see is the colour. I wonder if they are male and female of the same species.
There were butterfly activities opposite these flowering tress also. This rather pristine Biggs's Brownie (Miletus biggsii biggsii ) was ready to extend its proboscis to feed on sugary substance excreted by other bugs or the plant ? This Biggs's Brownie was "drunk" and stayed there for quite sometime.
This strange-looking Logania marmorata damis was spotted by KY above my eye level . The pointed shape of the wings suggest that it may be deformed. Same as Biggs's Brownie which belongs to the Miletinae subfamily of the Lycaenidae family of butterflies, this species is also known to have close association with ants.

Now behind the flowering trees, there was this Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metaretel) quietly resting on a high perch. I could only take a record shot from far. Let us go back to the flowering trees. We spotted quite a few Plain Palm Dart (Cephrenes acalle niasicus). This rather large orange skipper may be a male The underside colour of female is rather different from the male. It has a purplish sheen and some obscure markings on both the hind and forewings.
Here is another female. I noticed that there were more female then male feeding in the late morning. Feeding under the hot sun, another Bule Glassy Tiger simply ignored my presence even though I was rather close by. I noticed that other butterflies such as Leopard, Black Veined Tiger and Plain Tiger didn't seem to like the Syzygium flowers.

Senna alata trees were flowering as well. There are eight "candlesticks" in the picture. Anyway, I wonder why the common name is called Seven Golden Candlesticks.
There were quite a few other butterfly species visiting the flowering trees such as the following three "Crow butterflies" which I didn't have any presentable shots.

1. Euploea eyndhovii gardineri (Striped Black Crow)
2. Euploea mulciber mulciber (Striped Blue Crow)
3. Euploea phaenareta castelnaui (King Crow)

We hope that Syzygium trees elsewhere would also be flowering soon so that we can have fun chasing and shooting different kinds of winged beauties.

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