Friday, November 9, 2012

I Discovered Another New Butterfly Species for SG

It was not an ideal Saturday (3 September) for a photographic outing. But die-hard butterfly photographers like Loke, CJ, Simon and me still went for an outing to a wild place near where I work. Of course, other than shooting, another reason we met was to collect a butterfly book from Khew through  CJ.  Thanks CJ for being the driver in this outing.

The Dark Tit (Hypolycaena thecloides thecloides) was spotted by Simon and Loke in a wasteland. Though it was rather tame, its perch wasn't ideal for a photographically perfect shot. While we tried to change its perch it scooted up to the canopy. 

There were quite a number of Common Caerulean-like lycaenids flitting around in the wasteland. The underside markings look like the  Jamides celeno aelianus but somehow the not-so-whitish uppersides (seen when it was in flight) cast some doubt on the identification. 
The sky started to drizzle a bit but it did not dampen our spirit of chasing a  rather dark skipper. It finally perched on a blade of grass, long enough  for us to snap some shots from a distance. This skipper  looks like The Forest Skipper (Astictopterus jama jama).
  An upperside shot was taken from afar.
A rather small Swift ? was spotted feeding on the Biden flowers and later we found it resting on a blade of grass enjoying the cool air. 
Perhaps due to the super "nice" weather, we didn't see many butterflies come out to play so we decided to venture into a shady forested area.

When I was roaming aimlessly in a very humid habitat full of spider webs and mosquitoes, my line of sight intercepted a skipper resting on a leaf surface a few metres in front of me - with a prominent yellow patch at its tornal area, I knew it was the Yelllow Flat.     
It was rather tame at first allowing me to take quite a few shots but as you can see, it was just too high for me to snap a good shot. After getting some record shots, I started shouting for my other three shooting companions  to come to my location. While waiting anxiously for them, this rather pristine Yellow Flat (Mooreana trichoneura trichoneura)  changed its perch a few times but luckily it didn't fly too far away from its initial perch.
Just before Simon, Loke and CJ arrived at the location, it was feeding on bird's dropping on a dry leaf. I was afraid that going nearer may scare it away, so I just took a long distance shot.
After Simon had snapped one or two puddling shots, it changed perch again - this time it hid underneath a leaf.   

It was sheer luck and timing for me to discover a new butterfly species again within a month (see BC's blog also). I sincerely hope that this particular forested habitat will remain at least as it is now otherwise the survival of a few rare butterfly species which have established their homes there will be critically threatened. I wise we have the wisdom and foresight to do something good for them ?    

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