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.