Archive for the ‘singapore butterflies’ Category

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Sunny Chir and the young Jonathan

Over the weekend, Butterflycircle members were graciously invited by Gardens By The Bay to do a butterfly survey.  Unbeknownst to them, many of us had already been prowling the grounds… to little success.  Host plants were still few in number and the lack of shelter on the grounds make it difficult for anyone to see clearly enough against the glare of the sun to shoot a Grass Blue.

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Founding father of BC

However, they do seem enthusiastic about increasing the butterfly and hostplant population.  Let’s just hope that the trees grow tall enough to provide some shelter by then.

XMM of BC

XMM of BC

I didn’t get a good shot of a butterfly worth posting all day and I didn’t the last time we visited the area either.  I did however promptly get headache and a bad bout of flu which I am still suffering from right now.

Interesting displays at the visitor centre

Interesting displays at the visitor centre

I also did get many shots of the Tulip Exhibit just before they disappeared.GB18

The Tulips were… okay… the little flowers, traditional shoes and cacti make for better photographic subjects.

Cacti Flower

Cacti Flower

Artistic forms in the cacti

Artistic forms in the cacti

Beautiful bark patterns

Beautiful bark patterns

The leaves of the cacti are full of symmetry and pattern

The leaves of the cacti are full of symmetry and pattern

Another geometric pattern

Another geometric pattern

Some of them are furry too

Some of them are furry too

Other than the cacti the little flowers and leaves were intriguing as well.

Leaves with interesting stains

Leaves with interesting stains

Translucent flowers

Translucent flowers

A fiery flower amongst silvery branches and leaves

A fiery flower amongst silvery branches and leaves

Tiny flowers all in a row

Tiny flowers all in a row

Tiny flowers forming a nice frame

Tiny flowers forming a nice frame

GB14GB13I could not get many nicer shots of the tulips.  There were just way too many people.  I saw two ladies tussling to get into one of the gazebos.  I anticipated a cat fight but was disappointed.  It was so crowded little children were literally climbing up the walls (no kidding.  I saw a parent leave two young girls on top of a ledge so that they could have space to crawl around).GB33

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After 7 years of roughing it out in the field with my trusty Canon 40D, I’ve upgraded to a spanking new Canon 6D, which has superior ISO capabilities and picture quality.  Here are some of my first shots:nymph katydid

jumping spiderHasoara VittaI love this pretty Awl (Hasora vitta vitta).Hasoara Vitta2

odd caterpillarI have no idea what caterpillar this is but it’s both amazing and creepy at the same time.  It perfectly blended itself into the stems of this plant.Suffused Flash

I love the background that the C180 produces with the Canon 6D.

On the eve of Chinese New Year, we went to a location popular with cyclists to look for… Courtesans.. yeah we have not had enough of Courtesans.  But there were none.  However, we came across a very small but skilled practitioner of the Snake Boxing Wushu Style.

Tailed Jay Caterpillar

Tailed Jay Caterpillar

No bigger than 4cm and appearing to the early 5th instar of the Tailed Jay butterfly, this fiesty little green denizen shook its spiky head violently at ants that got in its green underskirt in an attempt to jab them with its tiny little horns on each side of its bulbous head.

Tailed Jay Caterpillar rearing its head complete with forked tongue

Tailed Jay Caterpillar rearing its head complete with forked tongue

When threatened by much larger animals if you breathed on it or happened to shake its leaves too much or if you decided to touch it, the little fellow will rear its head and stick out its forked tongue, trying to look like a 4cm long snake.Tailed Jay caterpillar3

Tailed Jay

Tailed Jay, Graphium agamemnon agamemnon

When minding about its own business, it moves like a leaf gently moving with the breeze.  When it is done with its multi-legged life, the caterpillar turns into the most beautiful green butterfly which very rarely ever stops for the photographer.

Happy Chinese New Year of the Snake!

All these years, Madame Butterfly has eluded me, flying perhaps under the similar looking guise of a Colour Sergeant male (cos that’s what she looks like from afar).

The Courtesan

The Courtesan – Euripus nyctelius euploeoides

I went with my partner to look for this particularly elusive butterfly and although she flew by me a few times, I kept thinking she was one of the Sailor butterflies until my partner looked closer and realised she was a Courtesan!mount faber1

Well actually he did much more than that.  He scaled several 60 degree slopes around the site.  No points for guessing which site (hint: Singapore Cable Cars).mount faber 2

And then he slid down an almost 90 degree slope because the Courtesan kept perching out of reach.  He scored himself a tourist photo with one of the tourists at the bottom of the slope looking up in amusement.  Yes this location sees a ton of tourists and yet nobody seems to have noticed one of Singapore’s rarest butterfly!The Courtesan3

Here’s a photo to help you have an idea of exactly how small the butterfly is.The Courtesan2

Yes.  Any man or woman who realises how rare this butterfly is WILL do just about anything to get close to her!

Nestled just after the gate leading into the Nanyang Technological University, is a little herb garden tended to by Mr Ng and a few helpers.  Previously overlooked, the site was suggested by Gandalf after he spotted and photographed several Green Barons flying around the small garden patch.community herb garden

community herb garden2

Some of these small paths lead to huge clusterings of butterflies feeding on ripe fruit and flowers

Normally, I would not write much about the locations I visit in Singapore.  Usually, because these locations are already well documented within the community and other times, it’s because they usually need no introduction.  However, on this special occasion, after visiting the herb garden, I was touched by Mr Ng’s dreams of hoping to set up a butterfly garden one day and hopes of more people coming by to share with him ideas of how to do so.

Euthalia adonia pinwilli female

Euthalia adonia pinwilli female

What was remarkable about this site was that there was a lot of activity centred in a very small patch of garden.  The garden is little more than the size of a few carparks with many butterflies hanging around at the strangest nooks and crannies.  The garden typically sees more activities during Buddhist festivals where many Buddhists gather at the garden for the observance of rites.

Euthalia adonia pinwilli - female Green Baron

Euthalia adonia pinwilli – female Green Baron

Mr Ng is always very hospitable and ready to offer a stranger a drink.

Euthalia adonia pinwilli - male

Euthalia adonia pinwilli – male

While we were there, he pointed to us leaves which when boiled can help to get rid of coughs, and some fruits which can be eaten raw to help with backache.

Euthalia adonia pinwilli - male Green Baron

Euthalia adonia pinwilli – male Green Baron

I was amazed by the number of Green Barons at the site.  There were several males and several females, more than the number I’d seen altogether in the past five years.  We attempted to locate the hostplant but didn’t manage to find it.

butterfly cluster

butterfly cluster

butterfly cluster

butterfly cluster

On top of that, there were also other not so commonly found species such as the Dark Veined Tiger and the Malay Staff Sergeant below:

Athyma reta moorei - Malay Staff Sergeant

Athyma reta moorei – Malay Staff Sergeant

Danaus melanippus hegesippus - Dark Veined Tiger

Danaus melanippus hegesippus – Dark Veined Tiger

Besides these. there were the more common species such as the Leopard:

Phalantha phalantha phalantha - leopard

Phalantha phalantha phalantha – leopard

We also have the good fortune of seeing a Painted Jezebel lay eggs on a parasitic plant:

Delias hyparete metarete - Painted Jezebel laying eggs

Delias hyparete metarete – Painted Jezebel laying eggs

Delias hyparete metarete - Painted Jezebel eggs

Delias hyparete metarete – Painted Jezebel eggs

There were also a good number of bees and wasps available.  I’ve included a photo of some of them and the fruit that is said to cure backache:

cure for backache

cure for backache

these three have backaches

these three have backaches perhaps

To top off even all of that, is a photograph of the not so commonly encountered (at least not for me) golden immature male of the Camacinia gigantea dragonfly, one of Singapore’s larger dragonflies:unid dragonfly

If you want to visit, here’s a location map:

location of community herb garden

location of community herb garden

I hope you get to visit soon. 🙂