29 June 2023

Butterfly of the Month - June 2023

Butterfly of the Month - June 2023
The Darky PlushBlue (Flos anniella anniella)

Half of the year 2023 is almost over, as we wind down towards the last days of June. Did you manage to achieve what you targeted to do? As far as resolutions go, what have you ticked off your to-do list for the year? Not to worry, there are six more months to go! The month of June belongs to the astrological sign Gemini. For those born between 21 May and 21 June, your zodiac sign is Gemini. We featured Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries and Taurus in the preceding Butterfly of the Month blogposts and will now move into the next in the series. The 12 zodiac signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.

Gemini (♊︎) (/ˈdʒɛmɪnaɪ/ JEM-in-eye, Greek: Δίδυμοι, romanized: Dídymoi, Latin for "twins") is the third astrological sign in the zodiac. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this sign between about 21 May to 21 June. Gemini is represented by the twins, Castor and Pollux, known as the Dioscuri in Greek mythology. Gemini is represented by a set of twins (or in Egyptian astrology by a pair of goats and in Arabian astrology by a pair of peacocks).

Those born under this zodiac sign are very versatile and multifaceted. They do not miss the opportunity to comprehend everything and, if possible, even more. Playful and intellectually curious, Gemini is constantly juggling a variety of passions, hobbies, careers, and friend groups. They are the social butterflies of the zodiac. Despite their unfair reputation for being two-faced, once a Gemini is in your life, they're loyal for life — but they aren't afraid to voice their opinion if they feel you're doing something they disagree with or if they perceive you as not being loyal to them.

Gemini can sometimes be very inconsistent and can change their attitude, opinions, and affairs several times a day. They often do not "close the loop" as they are engaged in several things at once, and jumping from one thing to another. This perpetual motion machine needs frequent changes in their social circle. He usually knows a lot of people, but they often don’t have a "best friend forever" type of friends. Most often, representatives of this sign become lawyers, journalists, public figures, or choose creative professions – designers, artists, poets, etc.

Our feature butterfly for the month of June 2023 is the Darky Plushblue (Flos anniella anniella). This species is often considered the rarest of the four (now five, with the addition of Flos abseus abseus after a recent taxonomic reclassification) Flos species in Singapore. Its preferred habitat is the heavily-shaded forest understorey in Singapore's nature reserves and nature parks. It can sometimes be spotted feeding at flowering trees at the forest edges.

A female Darky Plushblue opens her wings to sunbathe

The upperside of the Darky Plushblue is a lustrous violet-blue with a thin black border in the males, but with broad black border in the females. The underside is mostly dark purple blue with cryptic markings and white streaks typical of the other species in this genus. The apical area of the underside of the forewing is whitened.

A male Darky Plushblue perches on a twig showing a glimpse of its lustrous purple-blue upperside

The Darky Plushblue is tailless, although the hindwing is slightly toothed at veins 2 and 3. It also lacks the red patch at the base of the underside of the fore- and hindwings unlike some of its relatives in the genus. The tornal spots on the underside of the hindwing are smaller than the other Flos species and the iridescent blue/green scaling is very much reduced.

The Darky Plushblue is skittish and a strong flyer. They typically perch with their wings closed in heavily shaded habitats. But in sunny weather the females have been observed to open their wings fully to sunbathe in between ovipositing runs. Individual adults have also been seen visiting flowers and ripened fruits of the Singapore Rhodendron (Melastoma malabathricum).

Text by Khew SK : Photos by Federick Ho, Khew SK, Loke PF, Jonathan Soong, Horace Tan and Benjamin Yam.