Lookalikes

Posted: January 31, 2010 in butterflies, macro photography
Tags: ,

Dodgey No More

A mystery has been solved.  The baron with the dodgey blue dusting appears to be a rare Euthalia merta merta or commonly known as the White-Tipped Baron.  See Khew's information on it here.

The above photo shows a male.  Males looks so similar to the Baron (Euthalia aconthea gurda) that it's easy to mistaken them for the Baron were it not for the giveaway blue markings on the edge of its forewing.

Females are much more distinguishable (see pic taken by Khew @ Butterflycircle here). 

This male was photographed during the early morning hours (9.30a.m.) tucked in deep shade on a low forest plant.

Barons (Horsfield barons, Malay barons, etc) are typically skittish and alert to movement.  But this male allowed very close proximity and didn't fly away although I machine-gunned my flash on him.

 

The Other Knight …

A walk along Chek Jawa's stretch finally provided an encounter with the 'other', not so commonly seen, Knight (Lebadea martha malayana):

The photo above is of a male.  Females have distinctly broader wings and the apex of their forewing is not so strongly whitened.   

One distinguishing feature which separates the form malayana from the form parkeri is the colour of the distal half of the hindwing: the form malayana having a brighter orange colour instead of the pale mauve in the form parkeri (see photo below):

Females of the parkeri form are also distinguished from the males by the apex of the forewings.  The tips are reddish-brown instead of the strong whitening found in males.

Winged Residents Around the Nipah Palm

I found an uncanny number of short banded sailors along a boardwalk lined on both sides with Nipah Palm (Nypa fruiticans) although it's not a known hostplant of the butterfly.  Walking up and down the boardwalk peering into the vegetation didn't reveal any caterpillars but brought us into the flight-path of the grand toto of butterfly sightings: the Blue Nawab (which didn't stay.  NPNT as they say.  But I'll T anyway so I'll remember I sighted it here as well). 

The Nipah Palm is rare.  And I've not seen much of it or as much of it anywhere else.  The Nipah palm has a good number of uses.  The sap from the stalk of its yellow 'flowers' (inflorescence) can be made into vinegar, toddy or gula melaka (sugar).    

Note on photo above: The Nipah Palm flowers attracted a swarm of Apis andreniformis (dwarf honeybees)  

The unripe seeds is used in the process of making 'attap chee', a gooey chewy ingredient found in Ice Kachang, a favourite Singaporean dessert which is basically ice shavings, syrup, red beans and jelly.

 References:

http://www.vespa-bicolor.net/

The Butterflies of The Malay Peninsula -  Corbet and Pendlebury 4th ed.

www.butterflycircle.com

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Comments
  1. Waterbaby says:

    enjoyed the foray into butterfly land as usual. šŸ™‚

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