Sunday, April 12, 2015

Butterflies of Doi Suthep Pui Part 1

I must thank Antonio (his FB page here) who initiated and organised a Butterfly Expedition trip to Chiang Mai (14 - 21 March) for ButterflyCircle members.  BC blog's article has more details about the trip.

Doi Suthep-pui  National Park is one of the nearest locations for butterfly-watching and photographing around Chiang Mai city.

Our very first stop on a warm morning (15 March) is a rocky spot where the locals like to come here to relax. I was greeted with a tame Common Gem (Poritia hewitsoni tavoyana) resting on the ground.
This skittish Doi Suthep's Ace (Sebastonyma suthepiana) was zipping around the rocks. It took me a great deal of patience and some luck to snap two shots.
There were a few Curetis flitting around the area. This  Bright Sunbeam (C. bulis ) was a more co-operative one.
There were groups of  Hedge Blues puddling on the wet surfaces of the rocks but I didn't bother with them. When this guy, a  Udara dilecta  broke away from the group, I quickly snapped a shot.
Just before we were about to leave the place to head upwards, I noticed this Purple Leaf Blue (Amblypodia anita anita).
The Veined Jay (Graphium chironides chironides) appeared on our second visit to Doi Suthep on 19 March. A skittish fellow which didn't stay long enough for us to take more shots.
The Glassy Tiger (Parantica aglea melanoides ) also liked the to puddle on the rocks.
We saw many Archdukes on all the three occasions. This is a male Common Archduke (Lexias pardalis jadeitina
This is a different subspecies from what we can find in the south - his undersides were
I am not sure if this is a female Black-tip Archduke (Lexias diratea).
Her undersides.
There are many look-alike Neptis species - I can't be sure what this is for the time being.
Before we left Chiang Mai on an evening flight on 21 March, we went to Doi Suthep again in the early morning. It was quiet at first but once the air was warmed up, surprises were awaiting for us. A large Thauria aliris intermedia  (The Jungle King) created some excitement among us. 
A Silverline, perhaps the Cigaritis lohita , was quietly enjoyed its "breakfast" on a dry leaf.
This pristine White Punch (Dodona deodata deodata) was on a leaf when I first spotted it not far away from the Silverline.
It came down to puddle and stayed on the ground for a long period of time.
While others were shooting the Punch, I walked towards one end of this rocky terrain. Instinctively, I stopped in front of a rock, looking at Blues were puddlingand scanned  the surrounding. The moment I turned around and I saw a green butterfly on some dry leaves. After taking a long-distance shot, I moved in and snapped a few shots of this rather pristine three-starred female Green Flash (Artipe eryx eryx).
I took a while to get a few shots of  the undersides of the Grey Count (Cynitia lepidea).  
There were a few very alert Grey Counts flitting around and they seemed to like shady places. I managed to take a instinctive shot when it landed in front of me.
I will showcase more shots taken at Doi Suthep in my next blog post.


  1. You have pictured some fantastic butterflies. Your trip must have been amazing with so many different species of butterflies.

  2. Hi Nick. Once again thanks for visiting the blog.
    Indeed, it was a fruitful trip.
    Thailand has many beautiful butterflies for us to hunt for and photograph them.
    I wish I could have time to feature all my photos at one go.