Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Butterflies @ Doi Chiang Dao, Thailand Part 1
Continue from my previous post.
After an early breakfast on 5 Nov, we bid farewell to Tharnthong Lodges. We travelled west initially, heading towards Highway 107. After about an hour journey, we reached Chiang Dao District. The entrance ticket to Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary for a foreigner is 200 Thai Baht, but it valids for 3 days.
Before reaching the above destination, we saw quite a number of the Red-spot Jezebel (Delias descombesi descombesi) fluttering and feeding high on a flowering tree on a slip road. However, we had a hard time getting a good shot.
As there were very few butterflies at higher altitude, we visited this place on three days 5, 7 and 8 Nov. I would showcase the butterfly species that I have photographed according to Family. Let me begin with the Pieridae.
There were a few Red-based Jezebels (Delias pasithoe pasithoe) puddling on the ground under the hot late morning sun.
Two different individuals of the Hill Jezebel (Delias belladonna hedybia) were nearby.
This shot was taken in the afternoon around 3 pm - they could stay on the ground for a long time. I wonder what was on the ground that had "intoxicated" them.
I didn't see this Yellow Jezebel (Delias agostina agostina) in the morning. But it was such a prominent butterfly that I could see it from far when it came down to join a large group of puddling butterflies in the afternoon.
This is the Painted Jezebel (Delias hyperate indica). The northern subspecies looks larger than those that we would see in Singapore and Malay peninsular.
Take a closer look, you should be able to see the subtle differences between the D. pasithoe (3rd picture in this post) and this Red-breast Jezebel (Delias acalis pyramus).
I managed to isolate this Yellow Orange Tip (Ixias pyrene yunnanensis) from a group of Yellows congregating on the wet gravel ground.
This upperside shot was taken on the 8 Nov in the late afternoon.
This particular Burmese Puffin (Appias lalassis lalassis) was exceptionally large as compared to another one nearby.
In fact this Great Windmill (Atrophaneura dasarada barata) was the first butterfly I went down on the wet ground to shoot on 5 Nov at moment we entered the barricade "gate". It is such a pretty and large papilionid that every photographer would love to snap more shots.
Another papilionid, The Redbreast (Papilio alcmenor alcmenor) was puddling on the ground for a long time in the early afternoon on 8 Nov.
A short while later, a Red Helen (Papilio helenus helenus) came to accompany the Redbreast and had fun puddling together.
The Common Windmill (Atrophaneura polyeuctes polyeuctes) is less common then the Great Windmill. None of us had the luck of getting a proper shot of this highly alert and active surprised visitor in the late afternoon on 8 Nov.
The Lamproptera species can be considered as one of the smallest as well as most unique papilionids. This Green Dragontail (Lamproptera meges virescens) was flapping its wings constantly while it came down to puddle in the early afternoon. Interestingly, while siphoning liquid from the ground it also kept ejecting water out from its abdomen.
When the time is right (usually in the late afternoon) they will open their wings for sunbathing.
The journey from Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary to our next accommodation site at Doi Angkhang is about 1.5-hour drive so we had to leave early otherwise Antonio would have to manoeuvre the meandering and narrow mountain roads in the dark.
Look out for my next two posts as I will be featuring butterflies from other families.