Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Butterflies @ NTU Herbs Garden (方草园)

The herbs garden (方草园)at Nanyang Technological University is home to about 200 species of tropical herbs. Within a year, this herbs garden which was started by a group of plant and herb lovers and led by Mr Ng Kim Chuan (from the Office of Facilities Planning and Management, NTU) won a Gold Award under the education institution category for the Community in Bloom Awards 2010.

Different herbs were planted on specially-made terrace growing beds on a hill slope. Here are some butterfly species I managed to photograph on two occasions when I visited the garden.

This orange butterfly is called Leopard (Phalanta phalantha phalantha). I saw many of them fluttering on all kinds of flowers. It has the habit of flapping its wings constantly when feeding and perching. So getting a good shot requires a lot of patience and luck.

I was trying hard to take an open wing shot of another individual when it was feeding on the flowers.

A small skipper looks like a Taractrocera archias quinta - this species can be distinguished from other look-alikes by examining the tip of its antennae.

This is a Blue Glassy Tiger butterfly (Ideopsis vulgaris macrina) which liked to feed on some dry leaves of a herb.

Look at the forewing cell, can you see a slight difference between the Blue Glassy Tiger and the Dark Glassy Tiger (Parantica agleoides agleoides ) which is shown below ?
You should be familiar with this beautiful Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus malayanus) - a fast flyer which tends to flap its wings at a high speed while feeding on nectar. I was quite happy to snap a shot like this.

At least a couple of brown skippers were zipping around at the upper terrace of the garden. According to Dr Seow from ButterflyCircle, the first shot is a female Contiguous Swift (Polytremis lubricans lubricans) followed by a male

Last but not least, a solitary Malayan Eggfly (Hypolimnas anomala anomala) showed an elegant perch at one quiet corner, looking out for any intruders from a high leaf.
The huge collection of Chinese medicinal herbs at the garden have benefited many patients from different ethnic groups who are in need of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment. It has in fact, in one way or another, contributed to the study of TCM in Singapore. In order to improve the garden further, NTU has set up an endowment fund to better support the volunteers and upgrade the garden. Let us do our part to help these volunteers who managed the herbs garden (Yes, I have made a contribution),

Let us do our small part to help this already very successful herb garden to do more for both the NTU community and beyond.


  1. Hello,
    Really liked your website really got your point acrosss. Found it while going through google so wanted to tell you good job and you have a bookmark from me.

  2. where is ntu herb garden located at? near where?

  3. Hi, thanks for sharing these wonderful shots. Really well done. I am doing a project on feeding behaviours of butterflies at NUS. Curious about your Lime butterfly shot. Do you know which flowers are these?


  4. Where is NTU Herb Garden? This is a question that had been asked but never answered. Mr Patrick Ho seems to be a very busy person. The question was posted on 15 April 2012, and there's more than enough time for Patrick to make a reply. But unfortunately, he doesn't have the basic decency to do so. He just can't be bothered. Why is this blog for? Is that the attitude he has to promote the NTU Herb Garden?

  5. Hi Anuj, I am sorry for the very late reply. I do not know the name of the flower but I guess it belongs to Asteraceae family

    Hi Peter

    So the "Anonymous's question is from you ? In fact the answer to the question is rather obvious - because anyone can find it easily if the answer to the question is that important. If you call NTU or ask anyone at the gate of NTU I am sure you would get the answer.

    I have the right not to answer any question posted by an anonymous person.

    Yes, you are right to say that I am very busy. As a matter of fact, I don't really check regularly who had left a comment on my blog.

    If I ask a question on someone's blog, I think I would not dictate the owner of the blot when to answer me. I should in fact respect the owner if he/she chooses not to answer me. If I really need the answer badly, I would definitely think of other ways to get in touch with the owner of the blog. Peter, don't you think so ?

    You ask : Why is this blog for ? The blog is my weekly outing daily, recording what I have shot and seen and my personal feelings and opinions - so this is the main objective of the blog - hope you understand.

    You don't have to read my blog if you think it does not provide you the information you want.

    1. The Anonymous's question is NOT from me. Why should I be anonymous? There is no reason to hide my name.

  6. what a stupid and rude person this Peter Wong is!