Archive for the ‘Gopeng butterflies’ Category

After having shot my first dragontail in Gopeng, I hadn’t gone back to revisit till this year.

As Singapore’s weather, climate and general degradation of natural habitat takes it toll, there have been nothing but a few yellows floating listlessly amongst the grass.

check out the neat earring

check out the neat earring

Finding less and less subjects over here and noticing that even some of the common butterflies like the Peacock Pansy have recently become very scarce, it’s been very hard to get myself out of the house to hunt for butterflies.

Tongeia potanini glycon (Dark Cupid)

Tongeia potanini glycon (Dark Cupid)

Deciding that we needed to go on a butterfly trip so very soon after our Taiwan butterfly holiday, we decided to make it a short one to Gopeng.

Rhinopalpa polynice helionice - The Wizard

Rhinopalpa polynice helionice – The Wizard (I was so happy to photograph a pristine specimen of this butterfly I was beside myself!)

We put up at My Gopeng Resort, a very homely resort with an operations manager Sean/Shawn who enjoys picking up a microphone and crooning to his guests and chalets with air-conditioning.  Imagine that.

Rhinopalpa polynice helionice - The Wizard (topside)

Rhinopalpa polynice helionice – The Wizard (topside) – The Wizard has such fantastic angled wings

However, we had no need for air-conditioning the entire trip.  It was that cold at night (a kind of wet or damp cold with strong winds) and during the day of course, we were never in the room.

Papilio helenus - Red Helen

Papilio helenus – Red Helen – The Red Helen unbecomingly puddles in a drain

An interesting feature about this resort is that it is literally surrounded by durian trees.  There are rambutan trees and mango trees around (yum), but durians are its special feature.

Pachliopta aristolochiae - Common Rose

Pachliopta aristolochiae – Common Rose

Quite literally throughout the day, even at night, you can hear the tub thumping’ of jolly durians destroying short shrubbery everywhere.

In Singapore, when a durian drops, at least 4 or 5 bootied uncles will jump off their cheap plastic chairs and start circling the trees like Westies on the hunt, all eyeing each other with a secret wish that the other would tire and go home.

When one Singaporean uncle finds it the rest will congratulate him … with a secret wish that he’d now be satisfied with his one durian… and go home.  But that hardly happens at durian season in Singapore.

Odontoptilum angulatum angulatum - Chestnut Angle

Odontoptilum angulatum angulatum – Chestnut Angle

Over at My Gopeng Resort, everybody tries not to walk under the durian trees.  No, I wish durians had eyes as the Chinese saying goes, but there were accidents in the area.  There was one particularly horrifying one where a seven month old baby had been hit by a durian while in her mother’s arms and died from the impact.

So yes, durians are so common in Gopeng, you can find an entire mound of them in varying stages of rot because they lie where they fall and then they accumulate in a heap as more of the durians fall throughout the day without bootied Singaporean uncles to fight over them.

Ok. Enough about the durians.

Neptis harita harita - Chocolate Sailor

Neptis harita harita – Chocolate Sailor

While we were at Gopeng, we visited three places: Gua Tempurong the park, Gua Tempurong behind the mountains and Bah Wah, a small community of Orang Asli just outside my Gopeng resort.  Look for the sign that says “Welcome to Bah Wah”.


Libythea-myrrha-hecura-(Clubbeak) – This butterfly was so skittish in Taiwan we could not get a photo of it.  It was also skittish in Gopeng but at least it stood still enough for us to get a proper shot.

I wouldn’t say activity was at its peak.  It is monsoon after all.  But we did manage to photograph pristine specimens of what we had photographed before and a few firsts.

Hypolycaena erylus teatus - Common Tit

Hypolycaena erylus teatus – Common Tit

If you’re intending to go to Gopeng anytime soon, Bah Wah is a good place to explore.  There are many trails leading to different areas of the forest with some of them ending at different parts of the river.  But do take note that is is the monsoon season and it almost always rained in the afternoon without fail.

Hypolimnas bolina bolina

Hypolimnas bolina bolina

Hasora taminatus malayana

Hasora taminatus malayana – My first White Banded Awl

I have to say shooting the Awls were one of the highlights of the trip.  I’ve never managed to photograph any of these in Singapore.



Athyma reta moorei - Malay Staff Sergeant

Athyma reta moorei – Malay Staff Sergeant

I had the chance to do a video with a very friendly Malay Yeoman (Cirrochroa emalea emalea) who decided to make me its best friend forever for about 15 minutes:

Till my next butterfly post, bootied Singaporean uncles, keep hunting for those elusive Singapore durians!