Monday, 30 July 2012

Survey @ the Singapore Zoo

Last Saturday, ButterflyCircle conducted a smashing butterfly
survey at the Singapore Zoo. The species encountered would
be used as a baseline for further conservation efforts! That day,
our group of 12, spotted a total of 42 different species! One of
the most common butterflies was the Chocolate Demon.

They were attracted by the numerous Torch Gingers.
ButterflyCircle previously collaborated with the zoo to
transplant the torch gingers from the (now closed) Mandai
Orchid Garden. This was an amazing effort to save a rare
species, the Metallic Caerulean.

We were excited to spot this lovely metallic caerulean there,
as it proved that the efforts had paid off! Another beautiful
butterfly had been saved. Hopefully these jamides butterflies
will continue to strive there! Below is a much more common
relative, which was spotted as well, the Common Caerulean.
Among the wild grassy patches, a few speedy skippers
were spotted. One of them was the caltoris bromus, a new
addition for Singapore's check-list, where its presence here
was confirmed by our fantastic butterfly breeder, Mr. Horace Tan,
who first bred the caterpillars. This is another skipper that was seen,
the Yellow Grass Dart.
Another butterfly that was spotted many times that day
was this Peacock Pansy. It has beautiful orange wings, and was
very conspicuous.
With many rare species encountered, the survey was
a total success. I was very happy to be part of this wonderful
event, and I hope that I can participate in even more surveys
next time. I am still settling in to Secondary school life, but I
think I am doing all right. Kudos to ButterflyCircle for this super
conservation effort!

The End.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Tajuria Dominus!!!

Just about a week ago, I chanced upon an unusual looking
pupa. It resembles the pupa of the white royal, but a few
of the patterns where different. When it finally eclosed at about
11.30, it turned out to be the rare tajuria dominus.
The patterns on the abdomen were completely pale brown
with mottled spots, unlike the white royal where the abdomen
section is white with diffused yellow patches. When it finally came
out, it revealed its beautiful shimmering wings. The deep black
visual brand was very obvious.
Here is another shot of the newly eclosed butterfly showing
off his iridescent upperside.
When his wings had dried and straightened out, he
looked very much like the tajuria dominus.
This royal was discovered in an urban park in 2006.
Sightings of it since then have been few and far between.
It is the smallest tajuria species here in Singapore, and also the
rarest. This is a good sign that they are still hanging in there
and surviving in Singapore.

The End.