Sunday, May 12, 2013
Surrounding Areas of Flowering Trees
We don't get to see flowering Syzygium trees all year round. When these trees were in full blooms, they were like "food stalls" of a popular canteen attracting all sorts of "insect customers" visiting the stalls. In fact, some "spill-over" customers to the surrounding areas provided us with much photographic excitement too.
Many of us came to check on these trees on a few consecutive weekends. Our enthusiasm and diligence paid off as we indeed recorded many species of butterflies in the past few weeks (see my last two posts here).
I arrived quite early at one of the "canteens" on a sunny Saturday morning. Suddenly, I noticed something zipping down from the treetop into a shady area. Loke and I approached closer and realised it was a huge skipper - The Great Orange Awlet (Burarar etelka) was hiding underneath a leaf. Highly sensitive to the camera flashlight, it took off each time when we fire a shot. We lost sight of it while chasing and stalking it for a while. .
The White Spot Palmer (Eetion elia) appeared to be abundant now. But getting a good frontal shot was elusive for me as it was always alert and never stood still long enough, even during "meal" time.
This is another rare skipper, the Black Banded Ace (Halpe ormenes vilasina) that I shot on another flowering tree nearby. It was rather tame, enjoying its nectar of some new blooms.
A dark brown skipper suddenly appeared and fed on some flowers in front of me. The most common Tagiades species in Singapore, the Common Snow Flat (Tagiades japetus atticus) is likely to be encountered in our nature reserves.
During my previous few visits to the different "canteens", I noticed that at the vicinity of the flowering trees, we also got to see some other butterflies. This female Archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana) was loitering around the area but she got hooked on to some liquid on the ground finally.
A key distinguishing feature of this Lexias species from the other two similar species that can be found in Singapore is the orange tip of the antennae.
A pristine male Malay Baron (Euthalia monina monina) gave himself a slightly longer period of time on this perch.
Elbowed Peirrot (Caleta elna elvira) is a small and cute-looking lycaenid butterfly. It was flitting and feeding on the flowers rather high up. The moment when it came down to perch on a twig, "rubbing" its abdomen, I grabbed this rare opportunity to take a few shots.
With a rather straight forewing termen and the sharp marginal "V-shaped" marking in space 3, I reckoned that this is likely to be a Pointed Line Blue (Ionolyce helicon merguiana). It was tame and remained very cooperative for some of us to take some shots just besides a flowering tree.