29 August 2013

Butterflies Galore! : Aberrant Oakblue

Butterflies Galore!
The Aberrant Oakblue (Arhopala abseus abseus)

The distribution of this distinctive but very small Arhopala is quite intriguing. Whilst many of its other related species are mainly forest denizens, preferring the forested and shady sanctuaries in the nature reserves, the Aberrant Oakblue has also been observed at various urban parks from Fort Canning Park, Singapore Botanic Gardens and Ang Mo Kio West Town Park, just to name a few. It is more regularly observed in forested areas where it lurks in the shaded understorey. It is also a small species but is distinctively marked compared to other Arhopalas. Another key feature is its three pairs of white-tipped tails, of which the pair at vein 3 of the hindwing is the longest.

This pristine individual, shot by ButterflyCircle member Jonathan Soong, was observed at the Singapore Zoological Gardens at Mandai. The Aberrant Oakblue is considered a moderately rare species and is usually observed singly whenever it occurs.