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…

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…

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…

Beetle-like bug

This beautiful insect looks like a beetle, but it is in fact a bug – a true bug as entomologists call hemipterans. It is a member of the family Scutelleridae and is commonly called a jewel bug or a metallic shield bug. The Lychee Shield Bug or Green Jewel Bug, Chrysocoris stolli, is widely distributed throughout south Asia and South East…

Clipper

The Clipper (Parthenos sylvia), is a common butterfly of forested areas in South and South-East Asia.  The species occurs over a huge area: from India and Sri Lanka in the west; through Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia; onto the islands of Borneo, Sumatra, the Philippines, Sulawesi, Java and Bali; and as far east as Papua New…

Pushmi-pullyu butterfly

Whilst photographing this striking butterfly – The Common Tit (Hypolycaena erylus himavantus) in Thailand – I noticed that it was moving the tails at the end of its wings.  The movement was quite noticeable; the little black ‘tails’ with white tips, moving up and down. This behaviour not only draws attention to the back of…

A small frog with a big voice!

I came across this small pond frog whilst staying in northern Thailand recently.  They were inhabiting water filled lily-pots outside my bedroom at a charming resort called Malee’s Nature Lovers Bungalows, Doi Chiang Dao (1).  They made quite a lot of noise, but it was a nice noise and quickly lulled me to sleep!  Before going…

Skinks, me thinks, are cool!

I like skinks.  They look friendly!  There is something about their smooth shape and rounded lines that looks more attractive than some other types of lizard.  There are more than 1,400 species of skinks; most have cylindrical bodies and short limbs, but others have lost their limbs altogether (or have very reduced appendages).  There are…

Paris Peacock butterfly scales

The tropical Paris Peacock (Papilio paris) butterfly – not to be confused with the temperate or European Peacock (Inachis io) – is widely distributed throughout India and South East Asia.  This species is relatively common on the slopes of Doi Chiang Dao, a mountain in northern Thailand.  These butterflies are often seen mud-puddling on sandy soils…

A multi-frocked courtesan!

What stands out most about this butterfly are its bright yellow eyes.  I don’t know what function the yellow has, if any, but it offers a beautiful contrast to the black, white and brown colours of the rest of the butterfly.  I’m not sure how it got its name: The Courtesan (Euripus nyctelius) .  It may…