15 June 2008

A Northern Painted Jezebel visits Singapore!

A Northern Painted Jezebel visits Singapore!

Not exactly of the winged variety, but a good friend of ButterflyCircle, Mr Leslie Day, resident of Koh Samui in Thailand. Leslie goes by the nickname of Painted Jezebel on the ButterflyCircle forums.

Les and his latest el-cheapo tree-pod - an effective newly-patented improvisation to replace image stablisation

Leslie Day is a renowned authority on the butterfly Pierine genus Delias and has spent a great part of his life pursuing and documenting the complete list of all the species and subspecies of the genus on his website, Delias of the World.

Les, as most of us call him, is a former banker from England, who is happily spending his well-deserved retirement on the resort island of Koh Samui in Thailand for the past year or so, visited Singapore in late May 08 for a week. His mission : to photograph as many species of Singapore butterflies as possible.

ButterflyCircle member Wong calling a butterfly down for our visitor to shoot

A groupie mugshot of ButterflyCircle members with Les at Pulau Ubin

Not to be dampened by a few days of wet weather and a malfunctioning zoom lens during the time he was here, Les and ButterflyCircle members went out with a vengeance to see how many species Les could shoot in the 6 days he was here. From Ubin to Central Catchment nature reserves and urban parks, the team set out to find Singapore's forest and urban butterflies. (His final photographic tally was +35 species and a further 6 species spotted - all of which were "new" to Les. Of course, many others which also can be found in Koh Samui were not included in this list)

Shoot, shoot & shoot - rain or shine...

Les and ButterflyCircle members hard at work in the field

ButterflyCircle members who joined Les on his quest also enjoyed themselves thoroughly - rain or shine. There was even a dinner organised for Les, where prominent Harvard researcher, Dr David Lohman also joined in the fun discussion. Members who were having trouble with tongue-twisting Latin names of the butterflies were entertained with a session of rather alien language as the experts exchanged notes on their beloved hobby.

Groupie mugshot with Dr Lohman and Les at a scrumptious buffet dinner

Our generous Les even presented a S$100 book voucher to ButterflyCircle's youngest member, Aaron Soh, who made the best guess on the number of species in Les' checklist of Koh Samui as at end 2007.

Les presenting the $100 Book Voucher to ButterflyCircle's youngest member at SBG

I'm sure our visitor from Koh Samui enjoyed himself, being well-entertained by the enthusiastic members of ButterflyCircle, as well as being amazed by Singapore's butterfly fauna and rich biodiversity, despite being a developed modern city in Asia.

Here are some of the photos of the butterflies that Les managed to nail during his visit here.

Report by Khew SK : Photos by Les Day, Bobby Mun, Simon Sng, & Khew SK