A tale of two butterflies

Source: A tale of two butterflies Whilst I was photographing these butterflies, I noticed that two males were closely associating with each other. But when I came to look at the images closely, it was apparent that they were not only absorbing liquids using their proboscises, but also secreting small amounts of liquid from the…

A tale of two butterflies

This butterfly is Vindula erota erota Fabricius, 1793: the Thai Cruiser. There are both Wet and Dry season forms of this species (1). This occurrence of different types or forms of the same butterfly species, in different seasons, is called ‘seasonal polyphenism’ and has probably evolved as an adaptation to the different environments – and…

Bunches of butterflies

When visiting Doi Chiang Dao – a place I have written about before (1) – last November (2015), I came across some interesting aggregations of butterflies; composed mainly of Blues (lycaenids) and Yellows (pierids). I may have been a little bit late, as October is said to be the best month to see butterflies in…

Peck me here! Butterfly predation.

It is said that  50% of wild butterflies are killed and eaten before they get a chance to mate and reproduce (1). Poor things! One way to avoid being eaten is to divert the lethal pecks of predatory birds towards body parts that can be sacrificed in the interests of survival. Obtaining direct evidence for…

A medley of moths II: Tinolius species

Tinolius is a genus of five striking moths in the family Erebidae (Noctuoidea), sometimes called Owlet moths. The forewings are buff coloured with different numbers of white spots; the abdomen is pale red or yellow with lateral black bars on each segment. The male antennae are strongly bipectinate – meaning that they have two margins – toothed like a comb…

A medley of moths I. Aganainae

Asota plana Walker, 1854. A moth in the family Erebidae (subfamily Aganainae) in the superfamily Noctuoidea, which is found between 1,000 to 1,900m. I took this photograph at Doi Ang Khang, in northern Thailand, well below the peak at 1,928 metres. The subspecies Asota plana plana is found in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand…

A complex caterpillar!

The caterpillars of this species – the Spurge Hawk-moth (Hyles euphorbiae) – are highly variable and there are many different subspecies; some of which are now regarded as separate species (1, 2). In fact, it seems to be a taxonomic nightmare! First of all, the Hyles genus itself comprises “a complex of species, subspecies and forms, all closely related…

Butterfly takes off!

When a butterfly takes off, it becomes airborne in less than a quarter of a wing beat and can experience a vertical acceleration of about 10 g! (1). Butterflies use a so-called ‘fling’ mechanism to achieve these rapid take-offs: the opposed wings are ‘flung open like a book’, thereby creating aerodynamic lift and allowing air circulation over…