Saturday, May 31, 2008

Busy busy ..

March, April and May are peak seasons for butterflies and I have been out butterflying and mothing non-stop in Malaysia for the past three months. During the last 3 months, I have seen more lifers and rare species than my other outings.

Now you know why I have not been blogging for the last 2 months ;-) However, I am going to make up for it by sharing some of the prettiest and rarest butterflies and moths from Singapore and Malaysia !

I will start with a local species, Euthalia adonia (Green Baron), my nickname on the web. I have been looking high and low for this caterpillar for some time now with no success. Last month, when I came back from a butterfly trip from Malaysia, my wife told me she has an interesting caterpillar for me. Low and behold it is the caterpillar of the Green Baron butterfly !
Wai Yen was rearing the Painted Jezebel caterpillars and she has been collecting the leaves of Dendropthoe and Macrosolen from plants around our condominium for the caterpillars. While washing the leaves, she found this spiny caterpillar feeding on the leaf of Macrosolen.

The caterpillar of the Green Baron, like those from the tribe Adoliaditi (The Baron, Horsfield's Baron, Archduke ..) has a single subdorsal row of very long, horizontal projecting, delicately branched spines. 9 days after the caterpillar pupated, a beautiful female emerged !

Peak season for butterflies is also the best time for wasps and other butterfly predators. The Neostauropus alternus, Enpinanga borneensis and the Blue Nawab caterpillars I was breeding were all parasitized :-(

Now back to species from Malaysia. I shall start a few intersting hawk moths which most of us have never seen.

1. Amplypterus panopus : This hawk moth has long and slender forewings and its caterpillar feeds on the leaf of Durian ! Angie Ng found a caterpillar of this hawk moth in Ubin.

2. Amplypterus mansoni : A. mansoni is much rarer than A. panopus and can be mistaken as A. panopus. 3. Ambulyx tattina
4. Marumba cristata
That's it for now. In my next post, I will show some rare butterfly from the Fraser's Hill.

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