Sunday, November 23, 2014

Butterfly Paradise @ Chiang Dao Part 6

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The Plain Puffin (Appias indra) was the only white pierid butterfly amongst the puddlers. Seeing a rare occasion when it was not obstructed by other puddling butterfleis, I quickly took a few shots.
Compared with last November,  there were a lot fewer Delias species at Chaing Dao this time. The Hill Jezebel (Delias belladonna hedybia) puddled on the ground for a long time.
The Red breast Jezebel (Delias acalis pyramus) was another Delias species staying on the ground, giving everyone a chance to take some shots. 
You should notice the Red-based Jezebel (D. pasithoe pasithoe) and the Red-breast Jezebel are very similar. 
According to Dr Seow this Miletus is likely a female Common Brownie (M. chinensis learchus). It fluttered for a long period of time before making a short perch on a twig.   
As I wasn't sure of  this Blue in the field, I decided to take a few shots. It turned out to be the Pointed Line Blue (Ionolyce helicon merguiana), a species that we have in Singapore.
I just could not get an upperside shot of the Circle (Hestina nama nama) even though I stalked close to it.  
The Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala septentrionis septentrionis) came down to puddle in the afternoon on our second visit to Chiang Dao.

The Common Cruiser (Vindula erota erota) we saw here is very similar to what we could find in Singapore. However, I noticed that the ground colour of the undersides seems a lot more darker. 
I have posted quite a number of butterflies from Chiang Mai in this blog. I should take a break now and showcase some butterflies from Singapore in my next post.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Butterfly Paradise at Chiang Dao (Northern Thailand) Part 5

Continue from my last post.

My first shot of a skipper is the Chestnut Angle (Odontoptilum angulatum angulatum). It came down to puddle on the ground on our first day at Chiang Dao. 
This is Thoressa masoni (The Golden Ace), a common species at Chiang Dao.
This is the Northen Ace (Thoressa cerata). It was rather skittish and alert, scooted off rapidly just after I had taken a shot.
The Pithauria species are generally larger and more robust in built than many other brown skippers. This Light Straw Ace (Pithauria stramineipennis stramineipennis) was so co-operative on the ground that I could not resist taking some shots of it.  
This is a pristine Light Straw Ace skipper. It rested on the table top for me to compose a few shots.
According to Dr Seow, he believed that this is the Dark Straw Ace (Pithauria murdava).
This appears to be the Branded Straw Ace (Pithauria marsena). I could not remember why I took only one shot of it.
The Pale Marked Ace (Halpe hauxwelli ) is another common species at Chiang Dao. 
A different specimen was on the ground.
This is another look-alike Ace, the Silver-breast Ace (Sovia albipecta) I guess.
This is the Long-banded Ace (Halpe zola zola) which was shot outside an abandoned house overlooking the puddling ground.
I found this yellow tiny Tiger Hopper (Ochus subvittatus) rather cute because of the body and wing shape.
Les pointed out to us that this was not a common skipper. So I took some shots of  the Banded Bush Hopper (Ampittia maroides)   
Perhaps, one of the highlights we had at Chaing Dao on our last day was the excitement created by the Pale Green Awlet (Burara gomata gomata) - thanks to Antonio  who spotted it first. It went hiding but came back a few times in the late afternoon.

Sorry to say that I tended to ignore most of the skippers on the puddling ground. I might have missed many other species. In fact,  I didn't get to shoot many lycaenids in this trip too as most of them looked familiar to me.
I managed to snap just two shots when the Bi-Spot Royal (Ancema ctesia ctesia ) came down to puddle for a few seconds - it never stayed still and kept walking around.
This is the Silver Royal (Ancema blanka minturna). I didn't know when it appeared on the ground but it certainly disappeared really fast from my sight.
There were many Prosota species on the puddling ground - one of them was the tailless Banded Line Blue (Prosota lutea sivoca ) which can be identified quite easily due to its ground colour of the wings.
A couple of  the Barred Lineblue (Prosotas aluta coelestis) was parading in front of me.
The Common Line Blue (Prosotas nora ardates) was really common on the ground. Hoping that it might be other look-alike species, I just snapped a few shots.
Two different individuals of the Tailless Line Blue (Prosotas dubiosa indica). 
A small Margined Lineblue (Prosotas pia marginata) was amongst a few other Blues. 
At the higher ground where we parked our care, a Blue Tit (Hypolycaena kina kina ) came down to entertain some of us but not for long.
However, this Dark Cupid Dark Cupid (Tongeia potanini potanini) was more obliging; it remained in the vicinity for a longer period of time - but I was a bit lazy to go for more shots.
A long-tailed lycaenid, the Common Imperial (Cheritra freja evansi), a different subspecies from what we have in Singapore, landed in front of me. I went down to take snap this shot.

Many thanks to Dr Seow (from BC forums) and Les (on the ground) who helped me to identify most of the skippers posted here.   

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Butterfly Paradise at Chiang Dao (Northern Thailand) Part 4

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In the early afternoon on 14 Oct, Antonio drove up the hill and parked the car at a spot where it was seen to be safe for us to walk around and hunt for butterflies.

Thanks to Les's sharp eyes, he spotted a Brown Prince (Rohana parvata burmana) along the roadside. We kept chasing it until we snapped some pictures of its upper and undersides.

Sad to say, about 10 minutes later Khew witnessed how this poor chap was knocked by a car, depriving Sunny and Antonio their chance of getting their pluses. In order to meet the Prince again, we came to the same spot on 16 Oct - this time there were quite a number Princes there to welcome us. 
Its "cousin", the Black Prince (Rohana parisatis siamensis) was spotted at the foothill though. The 
uppersides of the male are really dark and uninteresting.
But his undersides are slightly more attractive.
There were at least two Intermediate Maplets (Chersonesia intermedia intermedia) fluttering skittishly and puddling intermittently on the ground.
One Common Map (Cyrestis thyodamas thyodamas) appeared on our 2nd day (16 Oct). At one moment it stayed rather still, sipping nnutrient solutions from the soil.
I spotted only one Club Beak (Libythea myrrha sanguinalis) near the entrance barricade. It remained on the ground for awhile.
The Banded Dandy (Laringa horsfieldi glaucescens) is a small Nymphalid. This guy really enjoyed its food from the soil,  puddling on the ground and changing its poses. 
 It also showed us its undersides occasionally.
A solitary Lemon Pansy (Junonia lemonias lemonias) was enjoying its quiet moment on some wild flowers. I could see that it was not the main shooting target for others, I decided to take a few shots.  
Being rather active and sensitive to my movement, this Vagrans sinha sinha (Vagrant) made me work hard to snap a quick underside shot when it decided to stop flapping its wings for a few seconds.
The Lethe confusa confusa (The Banded Treebrown) was shot on a grass patch at the edge of the puddling ground.
I remember I shot a Red Lacewing (Cethosia biblis biblis) rather hastily when we were just about to dive up the mountain.  
Later in the day, a record open-winged shot of another Red Lacewing was taken opposite where our car was parked. 
While walking up-and-down along a stretch of road up in the mountain, we saw some dead butterflies lying on the road. They might have been knocked down or run over by vehicles. 

This guy which looks like the Melanitis phedima ganapati (Dark Evening Brown) flew across the road and landed on the ground.
There were quite a few Yythima species flitting around but only these two presented me with shooting opportunities. Though not a very pristine specimen, this Y. confusa with two prominent eyespots attracted my attention.
 This Pallid Fivering (Ypthima savara savara) was found resting on the roadside.

I will show some skippers and lycaenids in my next post.