Sunday, November 17, 2013

Butterflies @ Mae Takhrai National Park, Thailand Part 2

Continue from the last post.

We know that "Awlet" and "Awl" skippers usually roam around early in the morning when sunshine begins to warm the earth. Walking around the surrounding areas of our lodge, we noticed a Common Orange Awlet (Burara harisa harisa) was enjoying its early breakfast at the river bank.
Surprisingly, another small skipper, the Silver-breast Ace (Sovia albipecta) was also an early visitor, feeding on a large stone.
A stretch of this beautiful river bank provides a good spot for puddling-butterflies to rest and feed on the moist sandy ground.
Our common interest and the BC forums brought four of us each from a different country together - thanks to the modern technology. This is where we had our breakfast before our 2nd day of butterfly-hunting and photographing.  
After breakfast, we continued exploring the compounds within the lodge. At least two different individual Common Nawabs (Polyura athamas athamas) came down to puddle.
Soon, a Scarce Tawny Rajah (Charaxes aristogiton aristogiton) accompanied the Nawab.
A more pristine female Plain Earl (Tanaecia jahnu) was spotted by Les on a leaf above us. She was rather shy to get closer to us but the high perch gave us a chance to shoot her underside wings.
The compound of the lodge is quite big. Antonio spotted this Black Rajah (Charaxes solon sulphureus) puddling singly and quietly on a cement floor across the river.

Not far away from the Black Rajah, I found this Common Pierrot (Castalius rosimon rosimon) perching on a grass blade.
An uncooperative male Colour Sergeant (Athyma nefte asita) was flitting around to-and-fro along the river but getting a good shot was a huge challenge for us.
The arrival of a large and magnificent Papilionid, The Redbreast (Papilio alcmenor alcmenor) was the highlight of our 2nd day at Tharnthong Lodges.
It kept fluttering its wings and moving around while feeding on the moist ground. Occasionally, it opened its wings - but we must really react fast and need some luck to snap a decent shot of the uppersides.
I spotted two Singletons (Una usta usta) - a rather small lycaenid at two different locations - obviously, this was shot at a sandy area along the river.
There was another small and dark lycaenid nearby. A slight change of my camera angle gave me this shot- I guess this is The Dingy Line Blue (Petrelaea dana dana) with a variation in the third marginal spot being darken.
There were quite a number of Yellows but I didn't really pay much attention to them. I just snapped a few shots of this cooperative Eurema simulatrix sarinoides.
We decided to move up to the waterfall area again. But as we went higher up the weather appeared to be more cloudy. Next to the waterfall, I spotted an Extensive White Flat (Gerosis sinica narada) feeding on bird droppings initially.
I managed to take an underside shot of this Flat skipper.
At the same location, a beautiful lycaenid gave me a surprise. The Indian Purple Sapphire (Heliophorus indicus) is such an attractive butterfly that I could not resist taking more shots.
I only managed to have two instinctive shots of  this Delias acalis pyramus (Red-breast Jezebel) when it puddled along the roadside next to a stream.
We didn't get to see many interesting species for us to be excited about so we went back to the Lodge early and continued hunting for butterflies within the Lodge. This Common Palmfly (Elymnias hypermnestra meridionalis) was more whitish compared to the subspecies agina  that we can see here in Singapore.
This Spotted Palmfly (Elymnias malelas malelas) found something smelly on a rock to puddle on in front of our lodge.
A solitary Mycalesis adamsoni (The Watson's Bushbrown) was rather skittish. A slight movement would agitate him to hop away from. A few minutes later I found it was attracted to the animal dung. 
Another attractive Brown, the Lethe confusa confusa (The Banded Treebrown) created some excitement for us just in front of our lodge.
I guess this is The Metallic caerulean (Jamides alecto alocina)  (blue iridescence on the uppersides) which was oblivious to my presence.
Butterfly on flowers is always appealing to our eyes. I could not resist shooting this Restricted Demon (Notocrypta curvifascia curvifascia) again.
While we were browsing through our shots on the camera outside our lodge a Harlequin species flitting past us. We kept chasing and accidentally bumped into this Tufted Jungle King (Thauria aliris intermedia).
After a good dinner at the Lodge we set around outside our rooms, chatting and relaxing in a cool starry nigh, accompanied by natural and soothing sound of flowing-water in the river - a wonderful place to immerse ourselves in nature and relax. 

Reference : Butterflies of Thailand, Pisuth Ek-Amnuay, 2nd Edition, 2012

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