Friday, May 14, 2010

Flying Jewels @ Gua Tempurung Part 3

Continue from previous here.

My very first shot when we arrived at Gua Tempurung on 30 April was this large Long-horned Beetle. My first sighting of this gigantic beetle which was trying to cross the drain.

This rather skittish Moore's Ace (Halpe porus) skipper was found near a shelter behind the ticketing counter. There were two of them zipping around and at times puddling on the cement floor.Some Ginger plants were growing behind the shelter where this Narrow-banded Velvet (Koruthaialos rubecula rubecula) was found perching on. With a prominent forewing orange band, this rather common skipper can be easily spotted in the field. This Banded Blue Pierrot (Discolampa ethion thalimar ) was found in a shelter in the late afternoon. It was fluttering around our sweaty bodies and puddling on the cement floor, so we tried to lure him to rest on our finger but it preferred Yong's watch instead. A small Lycaenid having similar size and markings as the Elbowed Pierrot, Banded Blue Pierriot is not found in Singapore.The ground colour of the uppersides of this Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala septentrionis septentrionis) is dark brown with some attractive blue streaks of different sizes. A slow and leisure flier with a wingspan of 8-10 cm, Dark Blue Tiger is considered an inedible species by predators because of its toxicity and unpleasant taste.I call this a "black beauty" as the upperside of this male Rohana parisatis siamensis is as black as coal but his underside wings are quite nice. I spotted this rather tethered male specimen flapping its wings on the cement floor.
Late in the afternoon on 1st May, I snapped a sequence of shots of another male and this is the best shot I captured. Libythea myrrha hecura is a Nymphalid butterfly. The most unique characteristic we can notice is its long "beak" formed by the elongated labial palpi, the sensory organ capable for detecting pheromones. The palpi are more prominent in Libythea species than in any other group of butterflies.
The markings on the uppersides of this rather unique butterfly look similar to the Lascar species. I noticed that it loved to perch on the brickwall in the late afternoon.
This Yellow Barred (Xanthotaenia busiris busiris) was spotted on the ground feeding on a dry fruit in the late afternoon further away from the entrance to the cave. This is one of the better shots when it was resting on a leaf after feeding.

While it was flapping its wings, I waited patiently to snap a few shots of its uppersides.
At least three Red Helens (Papilio helenus helenus) were puddling in a drain behind the toilet. This open-winged shot was taken when one of them decided to rest in a shade after it had enough food for the rest of the day.

All of a sudden, a small Lacaenid perched in front me, opened its wings basking in the sun for a very short moment before it disappeared completely. I think this is Drupadia scaeva scaeva judging from my only shot shown here.
This small damselfly perching on a leaf was shot near a stream. Not sure what it is.
The number of butterfly species showing up in this popular and "civilised " place is amazing. Apart from the species that I feature here and in my last two posts, I was unable to photograph at least half a dozen more other species found in the area. Gua Tempurung is truly a paradise for butterfly watching and photographing.

The above shot was taken by BJ.

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