Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Butterfly section on NSS Nature Forum

The new NSS Nature forum is now up and running and there is a section dedicated to moths and butterflies.

Feel free to sign up and ask any nature related question in the forum.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Butterfly trip to northern Thailand – Part III

Continue from Butterfly trip to northern Thailand Part II – Butterflies
Start from Butterfly trip to northern Thailand – Part I


We did our mothing at Soppong River Inn, Cave Lodge and a remote hill top.

At Soppong River Inn, the power supply was unstable as such we were only able to put up a blended mercury 120W light for a short period.

We also setup our moth screen on a remote hill top.


Unfortunately, our generator could only support 120W light :-(
There were not many moths, only 1 Sphingid, a few Arctiids and Geometrids.
VilmaPix-mothing on the mountain_thumb

At Cave Lodge, the power was stable enough for us to put up a 400W MH light.VilmaPix-mothing at cave lodge hut_thumb[4]
The light attracted not only moths but cicadas, praying mantis, butterflies and also curious neighbors who thought we were having a party.

Below are some of the moths and insects that came to the screen :

We had 4 butterflies, including Lethe kansa and Badamia exclamationis.
Lethe kansa kansa-Th_CaveLodge_20090903_5370-480 badamia exclamationis-Th_CaveLodge_20090903_5385-640



Dog Paw Moth – Plutodes sp.  This one is slightly different from the one we usually encounter in Malaysia – Plutodes malaysiana .
GEO Enn-Plutodes sp-Th_SoppongLimeStoneHill_20090904_4938-640

Pycnarmon spCrambidae-Pycnarmon sp-Th_CaveLodge_20090904_4939-640

Gunda sp
BOB-Gunda ochracea (maybe)-Th_CaveLodge_20090904_4980-480

Moth with long neck. Found out this is not a moth !
It is a Fishfly, Neochauliodes formosanus

Xyleutes mineus about to take off.
COS-Xyleutes mineus-Th_CaveLodge_20090904_4974-640-2

Apsarasa radians spreading its wings.NOC-Apsarasa radians-Th_CaveLodge_20090903_5381-640

Below are some of the hawk moths photographed at Cave Lodge :

Ampelophaga dolichoides
Ampelophaga dolichoides-Th_CaveLodge_20090903_5156-640

Elibia dolichusElibia dolichus-Th_CaveLodge_20090902_5532-640

Eupanacra mydonTh_CaveLodge_20090903_5171-640

Marumba dyras
Marumba juvencus-Th_CaveLodge_20090903_5159-640

Callambulyx rubricosa - one of the more colorful hawk moths.Callambulyx rubricosa (m)-Th_CaveLodge_20090904_4948-640

Clanis hyperion  - looks like Clanis undulosa from Fraser's Hill but 2/3 the size.
Clanis bilineata bilineata-Th_CaveLodge_20090905_4757-640

See more moth photos from this trip here.

I would like to thank Ian Kitching from BNHM for helping to id the hawkmoths

Back to Butterfly trip to northern Thailand – Part I

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Butterfly trip to northern Thailand – Part II (Butterflies)

Continue from Part I

Many of the butterflies we saw during this trip look familiar yet different because they are of the continental subspecies e.g. The Clipper, The Common Indian Crow.

At Tham Lot :

Vilma and I taking photo of Symbrenthia lilaea, The Common Jester.
CelinePix-DSC_0087Symbrenthia lilaea luciana-Th_ThamLotCave_20090901_5736-480

Preston and I taking photo of  Penthema darlisa melema -
The Three-colored Kaiser. CelinePix-DSC_0078

P. darlisa is a large butterfly, with wingspan of about 11cm and it is a Satyrid !  When I first saw it I thought it was a Chilasa or Paranticopsis !
Penthema darlisa melema (m)-Th_ThamLotCave_20090901_5677-480 Penthema darlisa melema (m)-Th_ThamLotCave_20090901_5678-640

Other butterflies photographed here include :

Euthalia monina kesava
Euthalia monina kesava (m)-Th_ThamLotCave_20090903_5323-480

A rare underside view of Dophla evelina, the Banded Marquis.Dophla evelina-Th_ThamLotCave_20090903_5337-640
Junonia hierta hierta
– The Yellow Pansy to me is the prettiest of all the Pansy in Malaysia and Thailand. This is the maleJunonia hierta hierta (m)-Th_ThamLotCave_20090901_5642-480

and this is the femaleJunonia hierta hierta-Th_SoppongRiverInn_20090901_5596-480

Junonia lemonias lemonias, Lemon Pansy, is the most common Pansy there.
Junonia lemonias lemonias-Th_SoppongRiverInn_20090901_5584-480

Near our lodge, we saw these :

Elymnias hypermnestra tinctoria – The Common Palmfly.
This subspecies is very common here and is also found in northern part of Peninsula Malaysia.  Elymnias hypermnestra tinctoria (f)-Th_Soppong_20090903_5247-480

In flight, the female can be easily mistaken for Danaus chrysippus and D. genutia !
Elymnias hypermnestra tinctoria (f)-Th_Soppong_20090903_5238-480

Tirumala limniace limniace – The Blue Tiger or Broad Tiger.Tirumala limniace limniace (m)-Th_SoppongRiverInn_20090902_5431-480

Castalius rosimon rosimon – The Common PierrotCastalius rosimon rosimon (f)-Th_Soppong_20090903_5252-640

Orchus subvittatus subvittatus – The Tiger HopperOrchus subvittatus subvittatus-Th_Soppong_20090903_5257-480

On the last day we found an exposed hill top with lots of butterflies.
These are some of the butterflies I photographed :

Tagiades cohaerens cynthia – The Evan’s Snow Flat
Tagiades cohaerens cynthia-Th_SoppongLimeStoneHill_20090904_5116-640

Serangesa dasahara dashara – The Common Small FlatSerangesa dasahara dashara-Th_SoppongLimeStoneHill_20090904_5122-640

Spindasis syama peguanus – The Club SilverlineSpindasis vulcanus tavoyanus (m)-Th_SoppongLimeStoneHill_20090904_5109-480

Rohana tonkiniana siamensis - The Tonkin Black Prince
Rohana tonkiniana xxx-Th_ThamLotCave_20090901_5610-480

That’s me chasing after the Euploea core godartii, the Common Indian Crow.
VilmaPix-gan in butting action

The female godartii can be easily recognized by the a big white patch on the forewing tip.Euploea core gordatii-Th_SoppongLimeStoneHill_20090904_5083-480

Parthenos sylvia apicalis – The Clipper. Again this is different from the Malaysian subspecies lilacinus. Parthenos sylvia apicalis-Th_SoppongLimeStoneHill_20090904_4864-480

Vindula erota erota - The Cruiser Vindula erota erota (m)-Th_Soppong_20090903_5295-480

A mating pair of Lexias pardalis jadeitina – The ArchdukeLexias pardalis jadeitina-Th_SoppongLimeStoneHill_20090904_4843-640

Parantica aglea melanoides – The Glassy TigerParantica aglea melanoides (m)-Th_Soppong_20090902_5495-480

Papilio paris paris -The Paris Peacock. A lovely butterfly with green dusted forewing and abdomen,and shining blue-green sub-apical patch on the hind wing. Unfortunately this one has broken hind wings.
Papilio paris paris-Th_Soppong_20090902_5486-480

Troides aeacus aeacus (f) – Golden Birdwing, feeding on wild Clerodendron flower.Troides aeacus aeacus (f)-Th_SoppongLimeStoneHill_20090904_4876-480

See more butterfly photos from this trip here.

=> Continue to Part III – Moths

Butterfly trip to northern Thailand – Part I

Early this month, a few of us from NSS spent 7 days at Pang Mapha district, Mae Hon Son province, Thailand.We took a Silkair flight to Chiang Mai, rented a 4WD and a generator and drove about 5 hours on highway 1095.  We stayed 3 days at Soppong River Inn and 4 days at Cave Lodge, both offer cheap and clean room with fantastic view and great home cook food.

I have lots of butterfly lifers as many of the butterflies in northern Thailand are either not found in Peninsula Malaysia or are of different subspecies.  We set up our moth light at Cave Lodge and got quite a decent amount of moths though not as many as in Fraser’s Hill.  All in all it has been a very fruitful exploratory trip.  We will definitely be back next year. 

Here goes the photos ..

Loading our luggage and generator onto the 4WDThChiangMai_20090831_5957-480

The weather was good, road condition was great and traffic was light. It was like driving in Malaysia except there was no oil palm or rubber plantation on either side of the road.

We had our lunch break at Care Coffee cafeTh_CareCoffeeCafe_20090905_4832-640

Lunch menu and the house special dragon fruit ice sorbet.Th_CareCoffeeCafe_20090831_5967-640Th_CareCoffeeCafe_20090905_4823-480 
Enjoying a Thai meal Th_CareCoffeeCafe_20090831_5966-640

View from the cafeTh_CareCoffeeCafe_20090905_4829-Panorama-800

At Soppong River InnVilmaPix-soppong river inn

My room

A very large lounge outside our roomsTh_SoppongRiverInn_20090831_5986-1270

and porch overlooking a ravineTh_SoppongRiverInn_20090901_5928-Panorama-480Th_SoppongRiverInn_20090901_5534-480Th_SoppongRiverInn_20090901_5543-Panorama-640

While at Soppong River Inn, we met Aaron Kwok (one of the Cantopop Four Heavenly King).  He was there for a UNICEF program to help underprivileged kids from the villages.  He stayed just next to our room and was kind enough to pose for a photo with us.  This is definitely our ‘catch of the trip’ !

VilmaPix-the heavenly king

Cave Lodge

Our lodges
Another view of our lodgeCelinePix-DSC_0107
That is me bird watching (yes I bird watch as well )in the morningTh_CaveLodge_20090904_5026-480

These are some of the places we went looking for butterfliesTh_ChiangMai_20090905_4820c-640 Th_Soppong_20090902_5907-640

CelinePix-DSC_0096  CelinePix-DSC_0174  CelinePix-DSC_0098 VilmaPix-scenic view with car  Th_CareCoffeeCafe_20090831_5961-640

=> Continue to Part II on butterflies