Today I went out with Uncle Sunny and a few others to
find the beautiful harlequin butterfly. The habitat was a
forest and it was very dark. Just after we entered their patch,
I could see a few flying around. This is the male.
They were all over the place, and stayed close to the ground.
They were not easy to shoot though, as they would keep
tuning around and flitting from leaf to leaf with half open wings.
The females were especially active and skittish. Below is a
The harlequin is a pretty butterfly from the family
riodinidae. They are rare here, and are also very local.
More often than not, they can be seen hiding in the
deep shade. The male is dark brown above, with an
orange forewing apex ( wing tip ). Underneath, it is brick red
with silvery-blue and black spots.
The female is paler, and there is a large white patch on
the forewing apex. They have hindwings that are slightly
serrated. The blue spots are also more translucent, rather
than metallic. The upperside is similar to the underside, but
darker and lacking the blue spots.
The harlequin butterfly is dependant on an uncommon
host plant. It is very sensitive to its habitat and environment,
making it a rather delicate species. If efforts are not made to
protect the forests that this wonderful creature lives in, it is sad
to know they may soon vanish.
I hope this reminds us to treasure nature's fine creations,
and remember just how fragile they can be.