Sunday, January 8, 2012

Grey Pansy In Danger @ Seletar Wasteland

On the last Saturday of the year 2011, I dropped by Seletar wasteland. My last visit to this wasteland was last National Day (see here). I was shock to see ....

My first shot of the morning was this bee feeding on the Mile-a-Minute flowers. Displaying all sort of "stunts" , it never gave me a good opportunity to take a satisfactory shot.
A very dark skipper perching on a blade of grass was in my sight at a distance away. It allowed me for one quick shot only. Looking at the camera's viewfinder, from the colour and the shape of its wings and body, I sensed that it wasn't the kind of skipper I usually saw.
I patiently searched and found it again. It was a Forest Hopper (Astictopterus jama jama) - my first sighting of this skipper at this wasteland and my second sighting on the main island. Here is another shot with a stronger fill-flash to brighten up the wings to show more details.
Next, I spotted a Centaur Oakblues (Arhopala centaurus nakula) which is one of the commonest and largest Arhopala species - my first sighting of this lycaenid at this wasteland.
This orange skipper was very alert. It tended to open its wing whenever it perched under the sun. It looks like the Common Dartlet (Oriens gola pseudolus).
Being skittish and very sensitive to the camera's flash light, it was never cooperative and kind to me. This is my best underside shot.
After feeding on some wild flowers, this female Common Mormon (Papilio polytes romulus) suddenly rested on a leaf in front of me.
The Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites atlites) was thriving - at least half a dozen of them were frolicking under the sun and at least two females were busy laying eggs. This particular mother Grey Pansy was testing the soil to lay her egg - luckily she was wise enough not to oviposit any egg om the ground if my eyes didn't deceive me.
Of course she got it right at last - can you see a tiny egg in green colour on the host plant which looks like Nelsonia canescens (Family : Acanthaceae) ?
The Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites atlites) is the rarest of the four Pansies we can find in Singapore. A permanent resident of this wasteland. I always found them around whenever I visited this place - I really hope that I will find them during my next visit there if there is one !!
The upperside wings were prettier with some patterned markings and ocelli.
Here is shot of another specimen when it perched on a blade of grass.
Currently there is a road-widening project going on along Tampines Expressway that is parallel to this wasteland. About a 50-metre stretch of the original wasteland in front of the construction site remained untouched on 30 Dec 2011. I guess by now it has been gone. I am not sure how much of the wasteland will remain eventually but one thing is quite certain - the Grey Pansy and the host plants are in great danger of disappearing from this habitat.

1 comment:

  1. The same thing happened to the Blue Pansy in my area! They used to be one of the most abundant butterflies around and suddenly, they just vanished. I have not seen a single blue pansy here in more than a decade.