Sunday, April 26, 2015

Butterflies @ Doi Pah Hom Pok, North Thailand

Continue from previous post.

On 17 March, five of us headed  further north in one car to Doi Pha Hom Pok, the second highest peak in Thailand. On the way, Antonio was exploring routes to Doi Lang, part of the Doi Pha Hom Pok mountain range. (Here is a rough sketch of the location provided by NTB)

About a two-hour drive from Nest2 at Chaing Dao, we arrived at our first hunting ground- a bridge. There were a few Green Commodore (Sumalia daraxa daraxa) flitting around and occasionally puddled on the cement ground. 
I had to be patient to snap a shot of the uppersides.
Some small flies and bees were sharing food on the ground with this Stately Nawab (Polyura dolon grandis).
At a stream below the bridge, Antonio spotted this a rather small and rare Chinese Straight-wing Blue (Orthomiella rantaizana rovorea) on a rock.
There were quite a number of Dark Jezebels (Delias berinda yedarnula) flying around. When they perched we quickly snapped a  few shots.
At the same vicinity, I realised that there was another look-alike Delias, the D. belladonna hedybia (The Hill Jezebel). 

A small stream further up in the mountain was our second location of shooting. I noticed a Burmese Straight-wing Blue (Orthomiella pontis pontis) a tiny lycaenid was puddling on one side of the stream.
There were a few Sailors at this location. The Common Sailor (Neptis hylas kamarupa) was rather active and it took me a while to get a shot.
In fact, the reddish brown undersides caught my attention first before I got interested in snapping its uppersides.
I could not get an underside shot of this Cream-spotted Sailor (Neptis soma shania).

The Veined Labyrinth (Neope pulaha putahoides) was spotted by Antonio. I was lucky to snap a couple of shots before it scooted off.  
A male Black-tip Archduke (Lexias dirtea bontouxi) just appeared in front of me. Just one quick shot it took off again. 

The Blue Peacock (Papilio arcturus arcturus) got us excited when it appeared flitting around. This was my first shot when it was looking for a spot to puddle on the sandy ground.
It finally found a sweet spot and stayed there for a long time. 

We went further up until we reached another stream. Perhaps due to the very dry season and a bush fire nearby, butterfly activity was poor at this location - in fact, LC helped to put out a small bush fire. So we headed back to the first stream again.

I was lucky that I was at the right place and the right time to snap two quick shots of this Orange Freak (Calinaga buddha sudassana). It was was another highlight of the day we were kept chasing it.
Two different Angled Sunbeam (Curetis acuta dentata) were photographed.
An uncooperative and  skittish Ananta Yellow Sailor (Neptis ananta learmondi) gave me only one chance of snapping a shot. 
There were at least two different Sapphire species flitting around. The Golden Sapphire (Heliophorus brahma mogoka) was one of them.
Another specimen was resting on a leaf.
Before we headed back to the bridge, I were chasing this Sapphire feeding on some wild flowers - it looks like the Common Purple Sapphire (Heliophorus epicles latimimbata). 
We headed  back to the bridge again in the late afternoon. This skittish Marble Flat (Lobocla liliana liliana) kept teasing us. At last, it got used to our presence and stayed a bit longer on the ground.
I had to take a bit of risk to photograph its undersides when it landed on the wall of the bridge.
The Spotted-Pierrot (Tarucus callinara) was a surprise to me when I spotted below the bridge.
My last shot of the day was this Blue Admirer (Kaniska canace canace).

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