28 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Common Red Flash

Butterflies Galore!
The Common Red Flash (Rapala iarbus iarbus)

This little red speedster is rather local in distribution and is present in preferred habitats in the vicinity of its caterpillar host plants. The male is a bright scarlet red with black apical area above, whilst the female is a drab brown. The underside is grey with the usual Rapala striations on both wings. The hindwing features a white-tipped filamentous tail at vein 2.

The flower of the Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum) does not appear to be very attractive to butterflies, perhaps due to the structure of the flower or the quality of the nectar. In the field, butterflies do not appear to prefer feeding on the nectar from its flowers, compared to other favourites like the Lantana, Ixora or Leea flowers. This is one instance where a butterfly, in this case a female Common Red Flash, probes its proboscis into the flower of the Melastoma to feed. The primary feeders/pollinators of the Melastoma appear to be predominantly bees and wasps, rather than butterflies.

27 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Spotted Judy

Butterflies Galore!
The Spotted Judy (Abisara geza niya)

We feature another shot of the Spotted Judy, this time shot by ButterflyCircle member Huang CJ, at a forested patch in the western part of Singapore. Such remnant forested patches of high biodiversity are always threatened by development, and indeed, this location appears to be slated for development in the not-too-distant future. Last weekend, as the ButterflyCircle team made its way to an area where the Spotted and Malay Tailed Judys are regularly encountered, we met a group of men who were carrying land survey equipment.

Sadly, it will only be a matter of time when the area will be cleared and residential and other developments spring up in its place. For some of our forest-dependent species, once their habitats are destroyed, it is virtually impossible to re-create the same habitat artificially. This is one of the reasons why it is important to preserve our nature reserves, such as the MacRitchie Forest, as permanent sanctuaries for our biodiversity - for once these areas are gone, our rich biodiversity will be permanently lost.

26 February 2014

Yellow Glassy Tiger Spotted at GB

Yellow Glassy Tiger (Parantica aspasia aspasia)
Spotted at Gardens by the Bay

The biodiversity at Gardens by the Bay is increasing by the day! Some time in late November last year, Sebastian Ho, a staff of Gardens by the Bay, spotted a Yellow Glassy Tiger feeding on the flower of Bidens pilosa growing at the gardens. This shot was taken with Sebastian's iPhone 5s. Although this "tiger" is a common species in Malaysia, it is seldom seen in Singapore, except for the occasional migrant. Though recorded in the early checklists, this species has been seen only a handful of times in Singapore in recent years.

The Yellow Glassy Tiger resembles its close cousins, the Blue and Dark Glassy Tigers. However each wing has a yellow basal patch with the yellow more extensive on the hindwing. It has been recorded mainly in urban parks and gardens like Alexandra Hospital Butterfly Trail and Hort Park. With this sighting, we add an additional species to Gardens by the Bay's butterfly checklist.

25 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Starry Bob

Butterflies Galore!
The Starry Bob (Iambrix stellifer)

The Starry Bob (Iambrix stellifer) is a forest butterfly and is rarely seen in urban areas, unlike its close cousin and lookalike, the Chestnut Bob (Iambrix salsala salsala), which is more common and widely distributed. It can be distinguished from its more common relative by the spot on space 5 of the hindwing, which is placed midway between the cell end and the termen of the hindwing. The underside of the forewing apical area is also distinctly orange tinged in most individuals of the Starry Bob.

This shot of a newly eclosed Starry Bob taking a drink at a pool of water and its reflection makes an interesting composition. The orange background adds to the shot that ButterflyCircle member Nona Ooi managed to take on an outing in the nature reserves of Singapore.

22 February 2014

Life History of the Common Five Ring

Life History of Common Five Ring (Ypthima baldus newboldi)

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Ypthima Hübner, 1818
Species: baldus Fabricius, 1775
Subspecies: newboldi Distant, 1882
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 30-40mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plant: Axonopus compressus (Poaceae, common names: Wide-leaved Carpet Grass, Cow Grass).

The upperside view of a female Common Five Ring.

The upperside view of a male Common Five Ring.

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
On the upperside, the wings are dull brown with the female being paler in the ground colour in the distal halves of both wings. Both sexes have a large yellow-ringed ocellus in space 2 of the forewing, and two smaller and adjoined yellow-ringed ocelli in spaces 2 and 3 of the hindwing (with another ocellus in space 5 in some specimens). The male has a broad strip of greyish black brand in the forewing. On the underside, both wings are pale greyish to bluff brown against a whitish background, and are traversed by numerous fine dark brown striae. The forewing has a large, bi-pupilled, yellow-ringed subapical ocellus. The hindwing has five yellow-ringed ocelli in spaces 1b, 2, 3, 5 and 6. Some specimens might bear another small ocellus in space 4. The pair of ocelli in spaces 2 and 3 are large and adjoined, and the one in space 1b consists of two conjoined spots. The pair of ocelli in spaces 5 and 6 are typically adjoined, with the one in space 5 larger than the one in space 6.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
The Common Five Ring is moderately common in Singapore,and are more commonly observed in the Southern Ridges. Adults are typically sighted flying low among vegetation in and around grassy patches. As with other Satyrinae members, the adults fly in an erratic and jerky manner. The adults visits flowers for nectar and sun-bathe with fully opened wings in sunny conditions.

20 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Ancyra Blue

Butterflies Galore!
The Ancyra Blue (Catopyrops ancyra)

The Ancyra Blue was a new discovery for Singapore when it was first encountered on Pulau Ubin some time ago in June 2005. Since then, this species has been quite widespread in Singapore, from urban parks to the nature reserves. Like many of the Lycaenidae, it is a rapid flyer, often flying erratically amongst shrubbery, and resting with its wings folded upright on the tops of leaves.

The shot was taken by ButterflyCircle member Nelson Ong at a wasteland site in the western part of Singapore. The species has characteristic thick striations on the undersides of the wings and if observed at rest, is quite easily to distinguish from the similar-looking species in the family. Its caterpillars feed on two local host plants and the life history has been recorded here.

19 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Yellow Chequered Lancer

Butterflies Galore!
The Yellow Chequered Lancer (Plastingia pellonia)

At a glance, this skipper looks very much like its more frequently-encountered cousin, the Chequered Lancer (Plastingia naga). However, a closer look at the colour of the spots will separate it easily. All the markings on the underside of the wings and its body are yellow instead of white.

The Yellow Chequered Lancer prefers shady forested areas in the nature reserves of Singapore. It is usually found perched on the top surface of a leaf, as was photographed here by ButterflyCircle member Loke PF. However, it can be skittish if disturbed and flies off rapidly. It tends to be affected by the camera's flash at times, jumping and flapping its wings whenever the flash goes off.

18 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Spotted Judy

Butterflies Galore! 
The Spotted Judy (Abisara geza niya)

The Riodinids, collectively called "Metalmarks" for the metallic spots of some of the species in the family, are quite unique in the way the butterflies fly around and twist and turn with half opened wings. A few of the members of this family have deep red wings with black spots and white streaks. They prefer dark shady habitats under the forest canopy.

The Spotted Judy is only moderately rare, and is quite local in its distribution, often occurring in certain preferred localities with regularity. Where found, several individuals can often be observed together. This Spotted Judy was photographed by ButterflyCircle member Sunny Chir.

15 February 2014

Butterfly of the Month - February 2014

Butterfly of the Month - February 2014
The Hieroglyphic Flat (Odina hieroglyphica ortina)

February 2014 heralded the Year of the Horse in the Chinese zodiac calendar. Unlike last year, when it was uncharacteristically wet for February, this year's weather was quite typical of the dry season, as the North East Monsoon winds waned and the rains that we experienced in the last few months of December 2013 suddenly dried up. Despite the cool north-easterly winds bringing temperatures to a low in early 2014, the exceptionally dry weather began to take its toll on the plants and greenery all around the island. Even in the forests, the leaf litter was particularly brittle and dry whilst the trees and shrubbery appeared limp and listless.

The National Environment Agency warned of imminent haze and poor air quality as the number of hotspots in neighbouring Indonesia increased alarmingly. Typical of the way the Indonesian farmers clear their agriculture land, it has been almost a yearly affair that the wanton burning of forests to clear land for farming will send plumes of choking smoke over to Malaysia and Singapore. The Indonesian authorities appear almost powerless to stop this pollution and environmental abuse as fires burn uncontrollably in their country.

I always wonder how much more of this can Mother Nature take, before she unleashes her wrath at those people who insist on destroying nature around them - solely for monetary gain and little else. We share this planet with the flora and fauna around us, and humans, being the most intelligent of all the creatures that inhabit our Earth, is by far also the greatest destroyers and consumers of our natural resources.

Over here in Singapore, the first two months of the year saw a curious number of unprecedented breakdowns in the MRT system. Some were reported to be due to "human error" and is some cause for concern, as the system has been running for so many years with very few breakdowns in the early years of the system, only to see "human errors" creeping into the operations? There appears to be some systemic issues that the SMRT needs to get a handle on these days before things get any worse.

A number of high profile fatal accidents at construction sites also plagued the industry. Usually, upon investigations, the conclusion is often that the accident could have been avoided, or prevented. Are contractors throwing caution to the wind as far as safety is concerned, for the sake of economic returns? Or is the pressure of ever-tighter deadlines and schedules forcing the workers to take short cuts just to speed up the work? Are developers imposing unrealistic deadlines on their projects, so that they can start getting returns on their investments?  Whatever the reasons are, when a worker dies at the site, someone, somewhere else in the world has lost a son, a father or a husband. Let us remind ourselves that it is not just a statistic on a piece of paper.

This month, we feature a Hesperiidae, commonly called Skippers from the subfamily Pyrginae, which are collectively called "Flats".  This subfamily features species that are robust-bodied, fast-flying butterflies that tend to stop with their wings opened flat, even when feeding or sunbathing. February's Butterfly of the Month is the Hieroglyphic Flat (Odina hieroglyphical ortina).  

Skippers are usually drab, brown coloured butterflies with large eyes and fat bodies. To the uninitiated, they are usually mistaken for moths. However, there are exceptions to these often unappreciated butterflies like the Hieroglyphic Flat, which are relatively more colourful and eye-catching. Over in South America, the Hesperiids are even more spectacular - with iridescent blues and long tails!

The male Hieroglyphic Flat has yellow-orange patches framed by thick black lines on both wings. Females are paler yellow and appear more faded in colour than the male. The underside markings are similar to the upperside, but often paler in colour. The abdomen is striped with black. There are obscure arrow-shaped marginal markings on the upperside of the forewings near the apical area.

This skipper is quite distinctive-looking and cannot be mistaken for any other butterfly species in Malaysia or Singapore. The cryptic patterns are reminiscent of the camouflage paintwork of a German Messerschmitt ME Bf 109 fighter plane in Hitler's desert campaign during World War II. I've often been asked what an ME Bf 109 with desert camouflage looks like, so here it is! Can you see the resemblance? But whether the Hieroglyphic Flat's colours provide it with any form of camouflage in our forests is debatable.

The Hieroglyphic Flat is a fast flyer and in some locations, two or more individuals are sometimes observed dog-fighting at the tree tops, vying for the best perch to sunbathe themselves. A common trait with most of the "Flat" species is that they will fly around rapidly, then perch on the undersides of leaves with their wings opened flat to rest or hide from intruders.

In the forests, the species is often observed puddling on bird droppings. It will repeatedly return to the bird dropping even when disturbed, and then feed greedily, giving a good opportunity to photograph it. It has occasionally been seen puddling at sandy streambanks and footpaths in the forests as well. The Hieroglyphic Flat has a wide distribution and can be seen at urban parks and gardens as well as in the forested nature reserves.

The early stages of this skipper has been recorded and documented here. The caterpillar host plant is Erycibe tomentosa, which is a woody climber and can locally be found on hedges, edges of forests and sides of forest trails, in areas such as the Central Catchment Area and Southern Ridges.

Text by Khew SK : Photos by Sunny Chir, Chng CK, Khew SK, Koh CH, Loke PF, Nelson Ong & Horace Tan

14 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Common Birdwing

Butterflies Galore!
The Common Birdwing (Troides helena cerberus)

The Common Birdwing is one of the Troides spp that is a CITES-protected species (the genus Troides is listed in Appendix II of protected species). Although it is not rare in South East Asia, and in locations where its caterpillar host plants are cultivated, the species can actually be common, the CITES protection is probably to protect this large and showy butterfly from being traded to extinction.

The Common Birdwing is a large and beautiful butterfly with its black and yellow wings. It is believed that the aposematic colouration is a display to predators that it is distasteful and should be avoided. Its caterpillar host plant is Aristolochia acuminata which this species shares with the Common Rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae asteris). Here, a male Common Birdwing is feeding on the nectar of the Hibiscus flower.

13 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Common Tiger

Butterflies Galore!
The Common Tiger (Danaus genutia genutia)

The flowers, stems and pods of the Rattlebox Pea (Crotalaria retusa) often attract species of the Danainae sub-family to feed on them. Whilst there are no apparent "food source" for the butterflies to feed on, these Danainae actually use their sharp tarsal "claws" on their legs to scratch the surface of the plant, flower or pod which then exudes a fluid that the butterflies feed upon. There must be some chemical compound that the butterflies are attracted to. At times, several butterflies can be found feeding on the same plant.

This male Common Tiger is feeding on the secretions of the Rattlebox Pea flower bud after scratching the surface of the bud. This shot was taken by ButterflyCircle member Simon Sng at Pulau Ubin's Butterfly Hill, where the Rattlebox Pea plants are cultivated along the roadside.

11 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Branded Imperial

Butterflies Galore! 
The Branded Imperial (Eooxylides tharis distanti)

This pretty long-tailed Lycaenid is relatively common in Singapore's forested areas, usually in the vicinity of its caterpillar host plant, Smilax bracteata, an invasive forest weed. The butterfly is bright orange on the underside, with a black-and-white tornal area on the hindwing, and a long white tail at vein 2. It flies with a short, hopping flight, and prefers the shady forest understorey. Quite often, several individuals are observed together.

This Branded Imperial was shot by ButterflyCircle member Mark Wong last weekend. It shows the butterfly perched on the top of a leaf, resting in the shade.

08 February 2014

Life History of the Malayan Five Ring

Life History of Malayan Five Ring (Ypthima horsfieldi humei )

Butterfly Biodata:
Genus: Ypthima Hübner, 1818
Species: horsfieldi Moore, 1884
Subspecies: humei Elwes & Edwards, 1893
Wingspan of Adult Butterfly: 30-40mm
Caterpillar Local Host Plant: Axonopus compressus (Poaceae, common names: Wide-leaved Carpet Grass, Cow Grass), Ottochloa nodosa (Poaceae), Kyllinga nemoralis (Cyperaceae, common name: White Kyllinga).

Physical Description of Adult Butterfly:
On the upperside, the wings are dull brown in the female and greyish brown in the male. Both sexes have a large yellow-ringed ocellus in space 2 of the forewing, and two smaller yellow-ringed ocelli in spaces 2 and 3 of the hindwing. The male has a broad strip of greyish black brand in the forewing. On the underside, both wings are pale greyish to bluff brown against a whitish background, and are traversed by numerous fine dark brown striae. The forewing has a large, bi-pupilled, yellow-ringed subapical ocellus. The hindwing has five yellow-ringed ocelli in spaces 1b, 2, 3, 5 and 6. The pair of ocelli in spaces 2 and 3 are well separated, and the one in space 1b consists of two conjoined spots.

Upperside view of a female Malayan Five Ring.

Upperside view of a male Malayan Five Ring.

Field Observations of Butterfly Behaviour:
The Malayan Five Ring is common in the nature reserves and surrounding vegetated areas. Adults are typically sighted flying low among vegetation in and around grassy patches. As with other Satyrinae members, the adults fly in an erratic and jerky manner. The adults visits flowers for nectar and sun-bathe with fully opened wings in sunny conditions.

06 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Cruiser

Butterflies Galore!
The Cruiser (Vindula dejone erotella)

The Cruiser is a good example of sexual dimorphism in butterflies. This is phenomenon where the male and female of a species appear distinctly different from each other. Males of the Cruiser are more common, and often encountered puddling at sandy streambanks and forest footpaths. Their bright orange colour and large size make them conspicuous in the forested areas of the nature reserves. More pictures of the Cruiser can be found here.

The female, however, is a pale greenish-grey with a prominent white post-discal band edged with a dark zig-zag pattern, running across both wings. The orange ocelli on the hindwings are large and prominent. The females rarely puddle, and prefer feeding on flowers, like in this shot by ButterflyCircle member Nelson Ong, where the butterfly is feeding on the flowers of the Mile-A-Minute creeper.

05 February 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Tailed Jay

Butterflies Galore!
The Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon agamemnon)

This "Swallowtail" of the genus Graphium is relatively common in urban areas where its host plants are cultivated. Its polyphagous caterpillars feed on a variety of road side trees like the Chempaca and Ashoka trees, as well as the Soursop which is sometimes cultivated in urban gardens. The upperside of the butterfly is an attractive black with emerald green spots on both wings. See more photos of this species here.

The Tailed Jay is a fast flyer with an erratic flight. But occasionally, it can be encountered when resting in the shade with its wings folded upright, as was shot here by young ButterflyCircle member Jonathan Soong, or sunbathing with its wings opened flat to show its impressive upperside. Females have longer tails than the males.

01 February 2014

A Chiangmai Expedition

A Chiangmai Expedition
Mark Wong shares his Thai adventure

In recent years, many ButterflyCircle members have made forays further afield to shoot butterflies. After many years of recording the butterfly activity in Singapore, it is always exciting to see and photograph butterflies that we cannot find on our tiny little island. From Malaysia to Thailand and Taiwan to Korea, such destinations begin to beckon to the photographers of ButterflyCircle. This is one story by ButterflyCircle member Mark Wong, who made a recent trip to Chiangmai, Thailand, with friends from the Hong Kong Lepidopterists' Society (HKLS).

Left to right: Dr Lee Ping Chung, Gigi Lai, Lai Kwai Yin, Mark Wong, Mason Chan, Arex Li

"After a quick discussion with HKLS member Mason Chan, during his brief visit to Singapore in October, I decided to join their forthcoming trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand. On our first day on 21 Dec 2013, I rendezvoused at the Chiangmai Airport with five other members of the HKLS. After a good dinner, Dr Lee and Arex Li, briefed us on the locations that we will visit over our 6-day stay in Chiangmai.

Each day started at 5:45am, with the standard routine of meeting at the hotel cafeteria for breakfast and chats before setting out to the nature reserves. It was good fun catching up with our HKLS friends that I have not seen in a while.

Day 2 – Chiang Dao National Park

The cold weather left most butts very lethargic in the morning until the warm rays of the sun “woke” them up. Most were resting on the foliage which made them easy to shoot, provided we could find them.

There were plenty of Leptosia nina nina (The Psyche), and this individual was perched nicely on a flower for a nice portrait.

Along the same trail where we were exploring, a cooperative Pithecops corvus corvus (Forest Quaker) was spotted in the undergrowth. It allowed each of us to take a couple of shots before it took off into the treetop canopy.

Amongst the undergrowth, I found an Eurema hecabe hecabe(Common Grass Yellow) resting under a leaf.

Clockwise from top left : Junonia lemonias lemonias (Lemon Pansy), Tagiades gana meetana (Large Snow Flat), Castalius rosimon rosimon (Common Pierrot), Catochrysops strabo strabo (Forget Me Not) 

Clockwise from top left : Jamides celeno DSF (Common Caerulean), Pseudergolis wedah wedah (Tabby), Lethe sinorix sinorix (Red Tailed Forester). Catopsilia pyranthe pyranthe (Mottled Emigrant) 

When the sun came out and started warming up the place, the activity of the butterflies was greatly increased. Most of the butterflies started basking in the sun to warm up their wings. This Notocrypta feisthamelii (Spotted Demon) came down to perch on a leaf.

Later that morning, we headed towards the caves. Even though he was driving, the eagle-eyed Dr Lee managed to spot this Hestinalis nama nama (The Circe) fluttering around amongst the shrubbery, and we all leaped out of the car to take some shots before continuing on.

We wandered around the area outside the Chiang Dao Cave, behind a temple with 5 snake heads, there was a small colony of Psedocoladenia dan fabia (Fulvous Pied Flat) that were dogfighting around the bushes. I managed to shoot a more pristine individual which was sun bathing.

Clockwise from top left : Polyura athamas athamas (Common Nawab), Udara sp.Cyrestis thyodamas thyodamas (Common Map), Leptotes plinius (Zebra Blue), 

After awhile, we realised that there wasn’t much activity so we headed back to the park entrance to check for puddling butterflies. We are pleased to find a number of individuals that came down to puddle.

We spotted a pair of Delias belladonna hedybia (Hill Jezebel) that were flying around non-stop amongst the vegetation. After some time, they seemed to sense that they has teased us enough and became more cooperative, allowing us to take plenty of shots, and made our day!

Appias nero galba (Orange Albatross)

Symbrenthia lilaea lilaea (Common Jester)

Towards the late afternoon, many of the butterflies took the opportunity to feed on the flowers and absorb the last rays of the sun before settling in for the night. For us butterfly shooters, it was an extremely fun day with many butterflies to keep us busy throughout.

Day 3 – Doi Inthanon National Park

The day started rather foggy at first as we drove out to Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s tallest mountain. Fortunately, the weather started to clear up as we headed higher up. The small patch of wild flowers along the driveway seemed quite productive, as many butterflies zipped down for a quick feed before heading up towards the treelines.

Clockwise from top left : Heliophorus ila nolus (Restricted Purple Sapphire) - upperside and underside, Eurema hecabe hecabe (Common Grass Yellow), Zemeros flegyas allica (Punchinello)

We then headed into the forest trails to have a look. The cool moist air made our hike a breeze. Accompanied by the sound of the gushing water from the nearby waterfalls and streams, the area had its own serene character that was very calming to the mind.

It was rather dark along the forest paths, as the sun could not penetrate through the think forest canopy. I managed to spot a puddling Caleta elna noliteia (Elbowed Pierrot) on our way out.

After lunch, we drove to another spot were very pleased to chance on a Sumalia daraxa daraxa (The Green Commodore) puddling on the damp path. It was very skittish, but fortunately it returned repeatly to a few favoured spots around the same area. After countless time having to prone down and getting up, I managed to get a few shots (very good exercise I must say). After having its fill, it also took off to a nearby fern to bask in the sun, allowing us some good shots of its upper side.

Day 4 - Mae Sa (Suthep/Near Queen's Botanical Garden)

The next morning, we headed to the north of Doi Suthep, near the Queen’s Botanical Garden. We visited Mae Sa waterfalls, and the scenery was breath-taking! The waterfall has ten cascades, each with a unique mini-waterfall. The walk up and down was a bit tiring but there were many butterflies along the trail that made up for the exercise.

Clockwise from top left : Surendra quercetorum quercetorum (Common Acacia Blue), Loxura atymnus continentalis (Yamfly), Lebadea martha martha (Knight), Neptis hylas kamarupa (Common Sailor)

We were very fortunate to encounter the Thaduka multicaudata multicaudata (Many-Tailed Oakblue). The butterfly has many short tails on its hind wing.

Graphium agamemnon agamemnon (Tailed Jay)

We ended the day by visiting the Siam Insect Zoo. There was a little butterfly enclosure inside, most of the species are what we have in typical enclosures though.  This Insect Zoo was set up the by author of the Butterflies of Thailand 2nd Edition, Mr Pisuth Ek-Amnuay, who is also an Adjunct Professor in Entomology at the Graduate School of Kasetsart University in Bangkok.

Day 5 - Mae Takri (Doi Saket District) / Monthatarn Waterfall (Suthep South)

It was Christmas Day, and also our last day to find butterflies. We headed to Mt Suthep, and our first stop was a coffee plantation. There was some butterfly activity in the sun lit spots along the trail. We then moved to an area around the Anti-Gravity Yoga Sanctuary. There were quite a number of skippers in the area and a bunch of Delias fluttering up at the tree tops. We waited a while for them to come down to a lower perch but they seemed to enjoy themselves better up at the top.

We then headed to the Monthatarn Waterfall, but weather seemed to be a bit too cold so there were no puddling butterflies. We explored the surrounding campsite to find other butterflies. There was a very cooperative Castalius rosimon (Common Pierrot) that was hanging around a small wild flower feeding. All of us took turns to shoot it on the lovely perch.

Ypthima sp.

Despite the cold season, we were very glad to have observed a good number of species during the trip. The incredible landscape and scenery in Chiang Mai is breath-taking, and that alone is already worth the trip!  I cannot wait for my next trip to Chiangmai again.

Nacaduba bochus bochus (Dark Caerulean)

I’d also like to express my gratitude to the HKLS members for planning and making this trip possible.  For those of you who are keen to visit Chiangmai, I understand from Arex that the information available online was a bit jumbled up and he had to cross reference a few maps to pinpoint the locations that we went to.

Potanthus sp.

Here is a video that is made by HKLS member Arex Li that summarizes the trip."

Text and Photos by Mark Wong; Video by Arex Li
References : Butterflies of Thailand, Pisuth Ek-Amnuay, 2nd Edition, 2012