Saturday, August 7, 2010

Larva of Miletini

Last week at Pulau Tinggi,  a Croton plant outside my chalet was infested with mealy bugs.  I noticed some of the mealy bugs were rather big. They were between 5mm to 8mm long. On closer examination, I realised they were not mealy bugs but caterpillars !  In fact I have seem these big ‘mealy bugs’ before and it never occurred to me that they wre butterfly caterpillars.

Unlike most butterfly caterpillars, the caterpillar of the butterfly from the tribe Miletini are carnivorous and feeds on Homoptera and ants broods.

These are some photos of these big ‘mealy bugs’ :

1. The caterpillar is covered with white powdery stuff.MyPulauTinggi_20100801_DSC02030

2. This caterpillar felled onto a leave when I tried to photograph it. 



3. This caterpillar has moved away from its food source and prepare to anchor itself to a leave to start the process of transforming to a pupa.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Plain Tigers eclosed

7 Plain Tigers eclosed today – 4 male and 3 female. 

3 flew off when I open the container to check on them and the other four were released near One North.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back to Gopeng – Part II

Continue from Part I ..

We saw lots of interesting and rare butterflies.  Below are some butterfly photos from the trip.

Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing (Troides brookiana albescens), very common at Gopeng and forest reserves in the state of Perak. They can even be seen at Adeline’s Rest House and Villa.Troides brookiana albescens-MYKualaWor_20100630_D8759-640Troides brookiana albescens-MYKualaWor_20100630_D8717-640
Male Malayan Birdwing (Troides amphrysus), not uncommon in the state of Perak, Troides amphrysus ruficollis (m)-MYGuaTempurong_20100629_D8340

Female Common Birdwing (Troides helena cerberus).Troides helena cerberus -f eumagos-MYGopeng_20100628_D8198
We saw Banded Peacock (Papilio palinurus palinurus) on 2 separate occasions.Papilio palinurus palinurus-MYGuaTempurong_20100701_D8938-640

Female Great Mormon form esperi (Papilio memnon).Papilio memnon agenor -f esperi-MYGuaTempurong_20100629_D8419

White Dragontail (Lamproptera curius), locally common.  We saw > 10 individuals this trip. A lifer for me !Lamproptera curius curius-MYGuaTempurong_20100629_D8543-640

Red-Spot Marquis (Bassarona recta monilis) – Another lifer.Bassarona recta monilis-MYGuaTempurong_20100701_D8926-340

The Siamese Black Prince (Rohana parisatis siamensis) - This is different from the Tokin Black Prince (Rohana tonkiniana siamensis) I saw in Thailand. Another lifer.Rohana parisatis siamensis-MYGuaTempurong_20100629_D8440Rohana parisatis siamensis-MYGuaTempurong_20100629_D8446

Orchid tit (Chliaria othona) - This uncommon lycaenid was photographed at Adeline’s Rest House and the Villa. Another lifer.Chliaria othona othona-MYGopeng_20100701_D8997

Dark Cupid (Tongeia potanini), Another lifer.Tongeia potanini glycon-MYGuaTempurong_20100629_D8460

The Banded Angle (Odontoptilum pygela)Odontoptilum pygela pygela-MYGuaTempurong_20100629_D8507-640

Great Orange Awlet (Burara etelka) photographed at Adeline’s Rest House.Burara etelka-MYGopeng_20100628_D8098


 <== Go back to Part I

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back to Gopeng – Part I

Last week, a few of us went back to Gopeng for butterfly watching.  We stayed at Adeline’s Rest House and later move over to her ‘new and improved’ Adeline’s Villa.

The Rest House consists of wooden huts on stilts. They are simple, rustic and comfortable.20100628_DSC01410 That is me taking a rest under our hut.20100628_DSC01412

The villa is catered more for those who want to enjoy nature without compromising urban comfort. The villas have attached bathroom, hot water and are air-conditioned !

20100629_DSC01462 20100701_DSC01555  20100629_DSC01456

View of the villas at night.20100630_DSC0154720100630_DSC01522

A new large and spacious kitchen that allows Adeline to cook up a storm.20100629_DSC01491

A very spacious and bright dining area that can easily accommodate more than 50 pax.20100629_DSC01481

Panoramic view of the  dining area with villas on the left.20100629_DSC01506

The new common washroom with a cascading waterfall entrace !20100629_DSC01489 

The food at Adeline’s place is superb as usual.  I’ll let the photos do the talking :

Now is the Durian season and Adeline’s Rest House and Villa are surrounded by Durian trees. Every morning, we went looking for Durian and we had Durians during breakfast, tea and supper everyday !Durian-20100630_DSC01537Durian-20100702_DSC01588 Durian-20100629_DSC01507

Continue to Part II =>

=> April 2009 Rajah Brooke’s trip - Gopeng
=> July 2009 Rafflesia trip - Gopeng

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The tigers left and returned

The Plain Tiger butterfly and butterflies from this genus (Danaus) have a very short life cycle. The time it take from egg to adult is anywhere between 16-21 days ! For Plain Tiger the pupa period is between 5 to 7 days.

1. Two pupae the night before eclosion.  The pupa case is now transparent, showing the color of the upperside of the wings.20100611_D8020-340

2. A newly emerged female drying its wings. 20100612_D8021-340

3. Another female about to fly off.20100613_D8027-340
4. A freshly emerged male resting on its host plant. 20100613_D8035-640


A few days ago, I noticed a female Plain Tiger fluttering around my Asclepias fruticosa , a relative of the Blood flower (Asclepias  curassavica).


The female was feeding on the flowers and laying eggs on the leaves. I found many eggs and early instar caterpillars on the plant.  The female returned the next few days and I noticed it favored the Asclepias over Calotropis as host plant.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Baby Tigers spotted !

Blood Flower-20090414_0122-480This morning I noticed the leaves of my Blood Flower (Asclepias  curassavica ) show signs of being eaten by caterpillar. On closer examination, I found Plain Tiger caterpillars on the plant.


I checked the plants and counted at least 10 caterpillars ! 
I decided to collect all the caterpillars and put them in container so that I can ration the leaves and ensure there is sufficient leaves for all of them.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Butterfly in my garden

Last week at around 6pm, I saw a small skipper darting around my garden and eventually landed on a leaf.  Turned out it is a Palm Bob (Suastes gramius) looking for a place to roost.  It stayed on the leaf the over night and left early in the morning. Suastus gremius gremius-GanHone_20100506_D7327-480

Today when I returned home at 6pm, I found a hawk moth on the stairs !  It is a Macroglossum sitiene.  What a pleasant surprise to be greeted by a hawk moth.  This is a rather common hawk moth around my area as its larva host plant Paederia foetida, can be found growing on the fence of my condo.

Macroglossum sitiene-GanHome_20100517_D7894-480

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Peacock Royal

Yesterday, a female Peacock Royal (Tajuria cippus maxentius) came to my garden.

Tajuria cippus maxentius-GanHome_20100501_D7198-360 

Hopefully I will see Peacock Royal caterpillars on the mistletoe in my garden soon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gan’s Garden Butterfly List – 18 species

Last update : 30 dec 2011

Butterflies sighted at Gan’s garden on 5th and 6th floor :

  1. Papilio demoleus malayanus – Lime Butterfly# : Sep 2008
  2. Zizina otis lampa - Lesser Grass Blue# : Nov 2008
  3. Suastus gremius gremius – Palm Bob : Mar 2009
  4. Delias hyparete metarete - Painted Jezebel# : Mar 2009
  5. Bibasis harisa consobrina - Orange Awlet : Mar 2009
  6. Parantica agleoides agleoides - Dark Glassy Tiger : May 2009
  7. Matapa aria - Common Redeye : May 2009
  8. Tajuria cippusmaxentius – Peacock Royal# : Aug 2009
  9. Catopsilia pomona pomona – Lemon Emigrant : 31 Oct 2009
  10. Ideopsis vulgaris macrina – Blue Glassy Tiger : 2 Nov 2009
  11. Danaus chrysippus chrysippus - Plain Tiger : 6 Jan 2010
  12. Chilades pandava pandava – Cycad Blue : 9 Jan 2010
  13. Pelopidas mathias mathias - Small Branded Swift : 3 Feb 2010
  14. Elymnias hypermnestra agina – Common Palmfly : 22 Feb 2010
  15. Plastingia naga – Chequered Lancer : 9 Mar 2010
  16. Junonia hedonia ida - Chocolate pansy : 8 Apr 2010
  17. Papilio polytes romulus - Common Mormon# : Oct 2011 (found CM caterpillars on Curry Leaf plant)
  18. Euploea phaenareta castelnaui - King Crow : 30 Dec 2011 (attracted by Dill plant)

# = Breeding in the garden

Friday, April 30, 2010

Butterfly stamps

SingPost launched the Butterflies stamp series on Apr 21 2010. This series of stamps consists of four exquisite local butterfly – The Common Birdwing, The Blue Glassy Tiger, The Common Posy and The Tailed Jay. ButterflyStamps-M

The stamp collection is the result of collaboration between SingPost and and Nature Society (Singapore) Butterfly Interest Group.  Simon and I started working with SingPost on this series in late 2008 and after more than a year, the butterfly stamp series is finally available to the public.  Apart from the stamps, SingPost also released Pre-cancelled First Day Cover, Presentation Pack and Self-Adhesive Stamp Booklet.  In addition, SingPost also released a special promotional bundle which consists of Butterflies First-Day Cover,  presentation Pack and NSS’s Butterfly Field Guide. 


Priced at S$15.00, it is on sale at four selected Post Offices namely Singapore Post Centre, Tanglin, Toa Payoh Central and Changi Airport.

Yesterday, Clement from SingPost personally delivered complimentary copy of the stamps to us. We had a pleasant surprise when he handed us a framed copy of the First Day Cover with Pre-cancelled stamps.


The presentation was beautiful ! wub[1].  Thank you SingPost !