25 September 2013

Butterflies Galore! : Archduke

Butterflies Galore!
The Archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana)

The large, robust-bodied butterflies of the genus Lexias are forest-dependent species that seldom stray from the sanctuary of the forested nature reserves of Singapore. They are largely ground feeders, preferring to forage amongst leaf litter and fallen fruits on forest floor. Two of the three extant species of the genus display distinct sexual dimorphism in that the male and female look very different from each other.

This shot, taken by ButterflyCircle member Nelson Ong, shows a male of the Archduke feeding on some liquid nutrients on a tree trunk. The males are velvety black above with a prominent blue marginal border on the hindwing, which continues to the termen of the forewing. The Archduke is a powerful flyer and is usually skittish.