Sunday, January 6, 2013

Butterflies of Langkawi Part 1 (Arhopala species)

The AirAsia flight AK1703 on 13 Dec 2012 was slightly late when it arrived at the Langkawi International Airport. My last visit to Langkawi, an archipelago of about 100 islands in the Andaman Sea, was about three decades ago when I was still a university student. Thanks CH for making all the bookings for us to make this trip possible.

The taxi fare from the airport to Bayview Hotel was $RM24 dollars. Within 30 minutes, we arrived at the Kuah Town where the hotel is. Shortly after checking into our room, Mr Teo called his taxi-driver friend to pick us up at the hotel lobby - heading out to Lubuk Sembilang in the afternoon for our first "butterfly-hunting" session.

Let me begin with all the Arhopala shots that I took in this trip - most of the shots featured here were taken along a forest trail leading to the waterfall at Lubuk Semilang. Thanks Dr Seow for identifying many of the shots which I had posted in the ButterflyCircle  forum.

The most abundant Arhopalas was this Arhopala democritus democritus. I must say that the uppersides of this species was beautiful with its very intense and brilliant blue iridescence.
This is a rather large Arhopala species. It took off a few times whenever the flashlight was fired. At last I got a decent record shot from a long distance.
It was so sensitive to the flashlight that it "jumped" whenever I snapped a shot. With this lucky upperside shot, I could identify it as The Large metallic Oakblue (Arhopala aedias agnis).  
This is the Arhopala evansi that I took in the late afternoon at the entrance to a forest trail at Lubuk Semilang. 
A tailless Arhopala agesilaus was resting on a leaf surface after it got used to my persistence of chasing and flashing.
Characterised by the small tornal white dot and a rather wide bow-shaped marking in space 1b on the hindwing, this is Arhopala moolaiana .
A rather pristine Arhopala lurida was found at the end of the foret trail just next to the  Lubuk Semilang waterfall. 
The Malayan Oakblue (Arhopala myrzala lammas) was rather rare in Singapore but it was quite common at Lubuk Semilang.
 A mating pair was shot on the first day late afternoon.
Another species that we can find in Singapore, the Arhopala atosia - but this particular specimen has lost its tails.
Another look-a-like - any idea what this is ? It seemed to have lost its tails also ?

After shooting in the late afternoon, the same taxi driver (sorry, I have forgotten his name - a very nice man who could understand simple English) would drive us back to the hotel. After washing up and a good dinner at a nearby Chinese food stall, we would walk around the town to do some shopping. The day ended with reminiscence of  how some shots were missed or taken, processing the photos and "whatappsing" friends and family members in the comfort of our hotel room.  

To be continued.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I'm a freelance writer who's putting together a quick facts story about Langkawi for a new regional travel/lifestyle portal. I would like to feature butterflies in Langkawi and found your lovely blog. I have some questions for you. Appreciate it if you could contact me please at siewlyn{at} Thank you! Regards, Wong Siew Lyn (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)