Friday, November 22, 2013
Butterflies @ Doi Chiang Dao, Thailand Part 2
Continue from previous post.
Butterflies in the Lycaenidae family are usually small to medium-sized. The Common Punchinello (Zemeros flegyas allica) from the subfamily Riodininae was rather common in northern Thailand.
The subfamily Polyommatinnae consists of a few genera whose species are closely similar. There were many small and cute black-and-white inconspicuous butterflies puddling on the wet ground - these lycaenids are generally given a common game ending with Peirrot. This is Straight Pierrot (Caleta roxus roxana).
The hindwing marginal markings of the Elbowed Pierrot (Caleta elna noliteia) in northern Thailand looks quite differently from the subspecies elvira that we have in Singapore.
The Common Peirrot (Castalius rosimon rosimon) appeared to be quite common also.
The White-banded Pierrot (Niphanda asialis) was so hard to spot as the colours match very well with the soil.
In the late evening of 7 Nov, we were at a grass patch besides a rubbish-dumping ground. Amongst many small puddling small lycaenids, Anotonio's sharp eyes singled out an odd one - the Dark Cupid (Tongeia potanini potanini).
After taking some shots of the Dark Cupid, I found this small Quaker (Neopithecops zalmora zalmora) standing on a clump of soil just a few meters away from the Cupid.
The straies of the subspecies albida of the White Fourline Blue (Nacaduba angusta) shown here looks paler and more whitish than the subspecies kerriana.
It was love of first sight - I don't know why Zebra Blue (Leptotes plinius) is attractive to me - the ground colour of the wings and the markings make this lycaenid easily identifiable and attractive.
We tend to ignore the small lycaenids and focused more on the showy and larger butterflies first. I didn't take a shot of this dull and small Prosotas pia marginata (The Margined Lineblue) until the late afternoon on 7 Nov.
When it was in flight, the intense iridescent blue exposed on the upperside wings was magnificent. This is the Dark Caeurelean (Jamides bochus bochus).
Two Yellow Tinsel (Catapaecilma subochrea) came to the site in the early afternoon on 7 Nov. This was the more pristine fellow but also a lot more skittish. It never stayed still on the soil while looking for a puddling spot.
The Chocolate Royal (Remelana jangala ravata) teased me a few times before it finally settled on a damp and smelly ground.
I was rather lucky when it suddently opened its wings in the late afternoon on 7 Nov - this is definitely a timely and valuable shot for me.
The Ancema ctesia ctesia (The Bi-spot Royal) was among a group of puddling-lycaenids when it was spotted by Les.
The Blue Imperial (Ticherra acte acte ) appeared like a phantom to me - it perched in front of me but scooted off in the next moment.
Skippers are a special group of butterflies displaying rapid and darting flight pattern, usually with a thick body, short and narrow wings. They beong to the family Hesperiidae. This small and cute skipper with distinctive markings and the ground colour of the wings is the Ochus subvittatus subvittatus (Tiger Hopper).
Skippers do puddle at times. This small and yellowish skipper is the Golden Ace (Thoressa masoni).
The genus Halpe consists of quite a number species, some are very similar. This fellow looks like a Halpe zola zola (The Long - banded Ace).
Thanks Dr Seow from the ButterflyCircle Forum who helped me to identify this as the Pithauria straminiepennis straminiepennis (Light Straw Ace) - what a long name and confusing species for many of us to remember it.
I saw one and only one Telicota species in this trip - not sure if this genus becomes less common as we go further north of Thailand. Thanks to Dr Seow who suggested this could be the T. bambusae with some uncertainty.The Psolos fuligo subfasciatus (Pale Spotted Coon) was feeding on some Bidens flowers along the road outside the puddling ground.