Monday, 13 May 2013

Two weekends at Mandai (part one)

Wow. It has been (quite literally) forever since I last put anything up here. Now that my mid-year exams are done with and out of the way, I thought I'd spend some time to rehydrate this place. For the past two weekends, I visited a lovely location nestled away in the Central Catchment area, and saw many exciting species. The highlight was this pristine male Courtesan. (pardon its name)

The courtesan seems to have established a healthy population there, and the place was sprawling with its caterpillar host plant, trema tomentosa. This fantastic blog article over at The Butterflies of Singapore talks about it in beautiful detail, while this earlier post gives a wonderful insight to its early stages. This male was very docile in the cool morning air. It had just rained. Many butterflies were feeding greedily on the ripe fruits of the melestoma bushes. Amongst them were Common Sailors and Chocolate Sailors:

These skittish neptis species were not the only ones enjoying the fruits. I was thrilled to see this beautiful Plain Plushblue fluttering amongst the bushes as well. This was a female, as her upperside was a shining purple. The male has a much deeper blue. However in both sexes, the plain brown undersides reflect lovely colours at different angles of light.

Better still, another plushblue turned up, the rare Shining Plushblue. This butterfly actually has Singapore in its Latin name "Flos fulgida singhapura". While it was not in the best condition, I was still happy to see it. It was territorial and constantly returned to its favourite bush even after I (accidentally) scared it off.

To finish off today's post, here is a pristine Yamfly. Yes, I seem to have an affinity with this species, and it appears to be very widespread in its distribution over the island. My shot shows the underside. The brilliant sunset orange upper is only revealed in the afternoon when they come out to sunbathe.

Okay, that is all for today; I shall post the rest of my sightings another day. I would also want to say an enormous Thank You! to all of my readers. Don't give up on this blog, don't. I promise to update it more frequently. Oh, and before I forget, I hope that the bigger pictures are an improvement. :)