Thursday, 30 April 2009

Life History of the Common Mormon Interrupted

Think about it, a life history of a butterfly,
eclosure ( the butterfly emerging from it
pupa ), a wild specimen, is is simply
wonderful. I have always dreamed of
making a life history, and now here's the
story of a peculiar happening to my dream.
It all started after a party at my Aunt's house.
( already home ) I was just looking out of my
house when I spotted a female common mormon
butterfly flying around some plants. I was eager
to get its photo taken so I rushed down to where
it was. When I came, it was still there, gliding around.
Then I noticed it sort of landing one of the plants
( curry plant ) and trying to oviposit, as below.
Sorry, but you might have to click the image to
actually see the butterfly, as my camera had very
little battery by then, not even enough to zoom in.
Well then, getting excited? Let the life history begin!
This is the egg.( sorry that you have to click it, my camera
can't do super macro )
The egg is 1mm. Below: 1st instar caterpillar.
Below: 2nd instar caterpillar?
Later in stage? Sorry that this may not be accurate, as
I have not seen post on the common mormon

Getting bigger......
And then,.

Finally! The final instar! It's gonna pupate!!!
I was all agitated, excited, as the caterpillar was
already at its final instar! It did move back to the plant
later on. I know, everyone is excited, all the action comes,
but sorry, something awfully terrible happened......
The next day it was there moving its head. Was it saying
goodbye to me? I am very superstitious, so I was sad
( coz' I thought it would die )
It rained when I was having lunch out. When I came back,
I wanted to check if the caterpillar had pupated. It was not there...
I looked everywhere, as it could be a pupa. Nope... No sign...
I was so sad that I went back home sitting on the sofa
and nothing could make me happy. There was no more

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Dark Brand Bush Brown

We ( me and my family ) had just come back home
when I noticed a dark butterfly resting high on
a wall in the car park. The car park holds quite
an amount of wildlife, and I often see carpenter bees,
honey bees, mynas and sometimes, butterflies. I
rushed home with my camera, hoping the insect
won't fly away. When I came back down, it was still
there. upon closer observation, I found out that it was
a dark brand bush brown. The dark brand bush brown
is the most common Mycalesis butterfly in S'pore,
and very often mistaken for other Mycalesis bush
browns. The butterfly did not flee by my appearance,
and I was only about 15cm away from it! Here is my best
photo of the dark brand bush brown ( below )

Although it was my best, it is still not very sharp.
This is because the brown was behind a plastic
partition and plastic wasn't very clean. After a
few more shots, I ran back home as my mother was

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Oriental-Pied Hornbill !

It's been so long since I last went to the Changi Beach
park, so, I decided to pay the lovely place a visit. Wow! It was
really hot there!( I wanted it to be like that ) The first bird I saw was
the rock/common pigeon.( obviously ) Then, I walked on. There was
a quite a number of common mynas hopping along the beach. A male
striped albatross( the butterfly ) was fluttering around, and stopping to
puddle. I then started on the board walk. I could hear common ioras( a bird )
singing, and lime butterflies flying above me. The rest of the walk wasn't that
interesting. Until...... The white-bellied sea eagle swooped by over the water
and grabbed a large fish for a meal. Okay, the walk went back to being
uninteresting. So, I headed back to square one. On the way, a
common sandpiper showed up.
( the image is not very clear as the bird was not very close to me and I had to zoom a lot )
Asian-glossy starlings flying from bush to bush, there was no
sign of a single plover. Back to the main stretch! I started running down the
beach, just having fun...... It started to drizzle...... Well, that did not stop me.
When I was walking back, I found this dazzling beetle( sadly, head chopped off )
Its wing cover was emerald green. The photo below shows the underside.

Now, all the excitement begins! Prepare! ......
There was a large dark area in one of the trees. What could it
be? After I got closer to it, I found out that it was a ORIENTAL-PIED HORNBILL!
Were my eyes playing a trick on me? I could hardly believe myself. The bird
has re-colonised in Singapore, recently last year. A small population breeds
in Singapore. Good thing I came to Changi to record it! Here are two images( below )

Well, it was time to go. My head was still spinning around,
coz of that hornbill.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Cycad Blue

In the morning, I woke up and took a look
outside my house. The air was crisp, and I could
feel the sun's warmth on my cheek. Suddenly, a
butterfly caught my eye. ( of course )
I went outside( still in pyjamas ) to take a look. It was
a cycad blue ! After a few seconds feeding on a flower,
the butterfly flew down to puddle. I started to sweat,
as it was getting later in morning. The image below is of
the blue on a planter.

The butterfly kept flying, then stopping to puddle, over and over
again, though it did come up to perch on the plants. ( as below )

I shot many more images.( including the one below-sunbathing )

After a while, the cycad blue flew away, probably
feeling rather full after all that puddling.

Asian-Glossy Starling imm.

When I was almost home from school, ( just outside my house )I heard some weired high-pitched calls. I got inside looking out for the mysterious bird. Out again, searching, until...... A small juv. bird was perching on my neighbour's railing.( outside their house ) It was an Asian-glossy starling ! It was not bothered by me, poor bird looked liked it was starving. I stayed there taking photos. Here's one( below )

The bird called continuously until it was dark. The bird
flew into a nearby bougainvillea bush. It stayed there for the rest of
the night. The next morning, it had dissappeared......