Friday, July 16, 2010

Two Yellows @ Lornie Trail

On a hot and sultry Saturday morning, the bus going to Lornie Trail (LT) arrived at the same time I reached the bus stop. Without hesitation, I was on my way to Lornie Road.

There is a Leea indica tree at the reservoir edge. Very often I saw butterflies and other critters feeding on its small flowers, quite high up now as the tree grows taller over the years. This dark brown and small Starry Bob (Ibrix stellifer) was seen many times here - it loves these flowers very much. Apart from butterflies bees and wasps were also attracted to these tiny flowers. A few Scoliid wasps were the butterflies' competitors for the nectar.
The absence of cicada songs and movement of wildlife along a long stretch of the forest trail made me wonder if our forest had been sick. I used to see from far, flitting butterflies and other insects feeding on bushes of Mile-a-minute flowers (Mikania micrantha) at one particular corner along this trail. What I could see now was just a lonely orange skipper which looks like a Common Dartlet (Oriens gola pseudolus).
I walked away, spending some time looking for and shooting dragonflies along the reservoir edge. At last a couple of Eurema simulatrix tecmessa came to accompany the skipper. The forewing apical brown patches on the E. simulatrix tecmessa are diffused and not as intense as that on another similar Yellow species, the Chocolate Grass Yellow (Eurema sari sodalis). A very detailed write-up on the Yellows can be found here and here in the ButterflyCircle's blog.
Unlike the Common Grass Yellow Eurema hecabe contubernalis ) which can be found easily in urban parks and wastelands, Anderson's Grass Yellow is a forest denizen but looks very similar to the Common Grass Yellow. One of the differences lie in that Anderson's Grass Yellow has only one cell spot on the underside forewing whereas Common Grass Yellow has two. Like other Yellows, it is usually skittish and alert on its perch. I could only take photos when it was puddling or feeding on flowers in the early morning. A detailed account of its life history can be found here.

My first encounter of this large orange critter with a pair of long antennae caught me by surprise as it landed on the leaf rather abruptly. Is it a beetle or something else ?

I would not have noticed this very tiny frog if I had not gone down on the ground to take some shots of the puddling Yellow. It was my first sighting and shot of this cute and small frog in the forest. After checking the website here and here I still have no clue of what specie it is.

In my next blog post, I will feature the dragonflies and damselflies that I encountered along the trail.

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