Sunday, August 26, 2012
Upper Seletar Reservoir (USR) Park seemed to be the best butterfly-hunting location during the past few weeks. So, on a nice Saturday morning, I was again looking out for critters and hoping for surprises along the forest trails.
A pair of mating flies (not sure what these flies are) perched right in front of me but beneath a leaf while I was standing besides a grass patch outside the golf-driving range.
Usually, I seldom walk on the shady and litter-filled trail besides the carpark nearest to the golf-driving range. For a change, I went in there. Strolling forward and chasing away some mosquitoes "attacking" me, I noticed a female Archduke on the ground. A shot from far suggested it was a Yellow Archduke (Lexias canescens pardalina) - the rarest of the three Lexias species found here.
At a grass patch at my favourite spot, I saw this brown skipper resting on a blade of grass. Except for the morning breeze, it behaved perfectly for me to get closer taking a few shots. Highly resembling the Small Branded Swift (Pelopidas mathias mathias) but without a cell spot on the underside hindwing, it looks like the Formosan Swift (Borbo cinnara).
At the same vicinity, a male Palm Dart (Telicota augias augias) also rested on a leaf surface in a shady quiet corner.
While waiting and searching at the Ixora bushes, I saw Simon and Yano, one after another moving towards my direction. At the round-about, we decided to venture deep into the forest. When this large red-eyed skipper perched , I instinctively squeezed off two shots.
We continued to move forwards. A rather tame Sumatran Gem (Poritia sumatrae sumatrae) was waiting for us.
I observed that whenever it settled on a new perch, it would open its wings a few times. This is an opportune shot of its upper sides.
Deep in the forest, I spotted a few Dark Posies (Drupadia theda thesmia). This was shot at one of the highest points in the middle of the forest where another Yellow Archduke was seen too,
A skittish fellow found in the deep forest while we were on our way out, the Shining Plushblue (Flos fulgida singhapura) is considered a rare lycaenid.
I was lucky to spot another Flos species, the Bifid Plushblue (Flos diardi capeta) found at the second trail when we came back there again. It disappeared completely after some shots.
A long but exciting outing indeed.
Monday, August 20, 2012
On 4 Aug Mr Yano and I were scheduled to meet at Lornie Trail for an outing. I set off early and took a slow walk along the familiar forest trails towards the reservoir edge.
At the exercise corner, a skittish Suffused Flash (Rapala suffusa barthema) attracted my attention. I was lucky enough to take a shot before it scooted off at a high speed to the canopy .
As usual, I could see some common skippers feeding on the flowers of Leea indica at one particular location. This is a Yellow Veined Lancer (Pyroneura latoia latoia), a very common forest skipper that seems to like these tiny flowers very much.
A slight turn of the camera produced a different background.
Another common skipper is the Chestnet Bob ( Lambrix salsala salsala). Apart from wild flowers, they also love to visit the Leea indica shrubs.
There were nothing special for me to stay longer at this spot so I moved on. At the reservoir edge where some Mile-a-Minutes flowers were growing but less abundant then before, I encountered a brown skipper displaying a familiar behaviour - opening its wings whenever it was on a perch. I am quite sure this is The Contiguous Swift (Polytremis lubricans lubricans).
Here is an upperside shot.
The Yellow Grass Dart (Taractrocera archias quinta) is a very a small skipper which also likes to open the wings under the morning sun.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
I could not join a group of ButterflyCircle members carrying out a butterfly survey at the zoo on 28 July. However, I did manage to find time for my weekly outing at Upper Seletar Reservoir (USR) Park later in the morning.
My first shot of the monring was a rather old Green Imperial (Manto hypoleuca terana) - thanks to Yi Kai for telling me that it was hanging out at the Ixora bushes when I met him along the forest trail.
The forest understory is the preferred habitat of the Common Faun (Faunis canens arcesilas). A common forest species, Common Faun usually can be spotted flitting and puddling along the forest trail.
I encountered a few Archdukes feeding on leaf litter on the forest ground. They were fast on the wings, alert and scooted off whenever I approached them closer. Knowing their behaviour, I patiently stood still and waited for them to land on the ground again. Yes, they returned to the same spots, giving me chances to snap a few quick shots. Getting some shots of a pair of pristine Black Tipped Archduke (Lexias dirtea merguia) really made my day.
Of the three Lexias species we can find here, The Archduke ( Lexias pardalis dirteana) is the most abundant in our forest - the orange antennae tips differentiate this species from the other two lookalikes. Unfortunately they were not at their best appearance.
Many of us have not shot or seen a Yellow Archduke (L. canescens pardalina) for a very long time. I hope, it will show up in the near future.