Monday, December 2, 2013

Butterflies @ Doi Chiang Dao, Thailand Part 3

Continue from my previous post.

The Nymphalidae family consists of quite a large number of subfamilies. Let me begin this post with some butterfly shots from the subfamily Cyrestinae. Shooting the undersides of this Intermediate Maplet (Chersonesia intermedia intermedia) was quite a challenge for me as it had the tendency to flap its wings continuously.
Getting a shot of the uppersides was relatively easier if we had patience stalking it persistently and closely.
The Common Map (Cyrestis thyodamas thyodamas) displayed a similar behaviour to what the Intermediate Maplet did.
It stayed on the ground with both wings opened fully once it was being "intoxicated" by the damp soil.
The uppersides of the Tabby (Pseudergolis wedah wedah ) could be easily mistaken as a Castor (Ariadne species).
However, the undersides are slightly more distinguishable.
The presence of this Popinjay (Stibochiona nicea subucula) was alerted by Antonio. I took a quick shot before it scooted off quickly the moment I went one step closer.
There were at least four different species from the Apaturinae subfamily that could be found on this puddling ground.  I only noticed the the male Siamese Black Prince (Rohana parisatis siamensis). Where was the female ? 
His underside wing patterns are not so dull and unattractive.
There were quite a number of them wandering there - this shot was taken on 8 Nov, showing a rather different posture.
The Indian Purple Emperor (Mimathyma ambica miranda) was quite abundant there too. Shooting from an angle that was almost vertically above the butterfly, we got to see the magnificent blue iridescence of the wings.
The undersides are quite nice and attractive too.
The Circe (Hestina nama nama) appeared on 7 Nov - there were at least two different individuals.
Take a close look, we realise that the Circe provides an example of  Batesian mimicry as it mimics Chocolate Tiger (Parantica sita) to a large extent.
The Siren (Hestina persimilis persimilis) looks like another species - the Courtesan (Euripus nyctelius euploeoides) that we can find in Singapore. I was patiently waiting for it to open its wings but in vain.
The next subfamily I would like to feature is the Nymphalinae. The charcoal like dark underside wing patterns of the Blue Admiral (Kaniska canace canace)  were the distinguishing characteristics of this species. Again, luck wasn't on my side for taking a shot of its beautiful uppersides.
The Common Jester (Symbrenthia lilaea lilaea) was abundant too - we could see them almost everywhere - most of the time we just ignored them.
You probably would think that The Kallima inachus siamensis (The Orange Oakleaf) butterfly is a dry leaf if you are not discerning enough.
However, its uppersides are much more colourful and attractive - but getting a good shot of the uppersides was a huge challenge for us.
Butterflies in the subfamily Charaxinae are generally large and fast-flying with attractive and brilliantly coloured underside wing patterns. All of us got excited when we encounterted a Shan Nawab (Polyura nepenthes nepenthes) on our first day (5 Nov) at Chiang Dao.
The Pallid Nawab (Polyura arja arja) seemed to be rarer as I didn't seem to find it often. This was the only shot taken when it settled on a high perch.
The Indian Nawab (Polyura jalysus jalysus) seemed to be quite common as well. 
There were quite a number of Scarce Tawny Rajahs (Charaxes aristogiton aristogiton ) puddling at different spots. I chose to take a few shots of this rather pristine specimen.  
They hardly opened their wings fully - this was my best shot I had on a male flapping the wings in the afternoon on 7 Nov.
The species of the subfamily  Limenitidinae consists of many genera - one of them is the black-and-white Sailor (Neptis species).  This skittish guy looks like a Clear Sailor (Neptis clinia susruta).
Let me wrap up this post with a shot of the Athyma cama cama (The Orange Staff Sergeant) perching on a leaf and its undersides.

Soon, I will be away for a work-related trip to Fraser's Hill and followed by another butterfly photography trip - my last overseas trip this year. 

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

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