Thursday, February 22, 2018

Butterflies Galore Again

Our weather conditions these past few days are unexpected, not to many's liking. Last week we were still getting some cold nights and colder easterly winds. By colder i just mean the temperatures are 25C-28°C. For us these temps are already cold because we are accustomed to very hot temperatures during our dry season, everything above 33°C! The sudden change happened in one night, 27°C jumping to 33°C. The sky suddenly became cloudless and it already got uncomfortable outside even just at 8:00 in the morning. Huh!

So last Friday i went home early, Chinese New Year holiday. That means i can be out for butterflies early the next 2 days. I made sure to have coffee and one little bread at 6:00 a.m. to see the butterflies when they are not ready yet for flying, or the water vapor in the air still hinders their wings for easy movement. But conditions really changed, because even at this early their wings are already dry! That makes photographing them very difficult! They did not allow me to come nearer.

But of course, that will not stop me from chasing them, or maybe even just observe. However, i realized they are already very few, so i just content on whatever is available, even if my previous files are already filled with them. So here are some of them, in the group called the BLUES in Lycaenidae, Lycaeninae, Polyommatini.



 TINY GRASS BLUE or GAIKA BLUE 
Zizula hylax pygmaea Snellen 1876
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini
 

Please excuse me for putting a lot of them above, as they really are plenty roaming among the small grasses and weeds. These weeds are the most resistant to dry conditions, so they can raise a lot of the Tiny Grass Blues, Zizula hylax pygmaea. The species connotes their very small size, that is, length of their wings and even the length is less than one centimeter. It might be a challenge to follow them as they don't easily land on a leaf again after leaving one. And of course their size always challenges my already not so perfect vision.

The Lesser Grass Blue, Zizula otis oriens,  is also a small one but bigger than the Tiny Grass Blue. They have the same habitat and sometimes share a host plant, so seeing one will also lead you to the other. Although this is not as plenty as the first in one time, suggesting that they don't share all host plants. So far i have only seen it in one host plant in contrast with the first that i've seen in at least 3 host plants. 


 GRAM BLUE

Euchrysops cnejus cnejus Fabricius 1798 

Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

GRAM BLUE (female)
Euchrysops cnejus cnejus Fabricius 1798 
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

 GRAM BLUE (male)
Euchrysops cnejus cnejus Fabricius 1798 
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

COMMON CERULEAN 
Jamides celeno lydanus Fruhstorfer 1910
(Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

DARK CERULEAN

Jamides bochus pulchrior Grose-Smith 1895 
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini


 FORGET-ME-NOT 

Catochrysops strabo luzonensis Tite 1959
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini


You might also smile at their names, Forget-me-not and Silver Forget-me-not. The authors of those names are not the same and the latter might be funny, naming the latter discovery based from the first. They might not be forgotten but they are very difficult to differentiate from each other. Even if i already know how to distinguish the differences, i am still not confident that i will be correct everytime.

 SILVER FORGET-ME-NOT 

Catochrysops panormus exiguus Distant 1886
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini


 SILVER FORGET-ME-NOT 

Catochrysops panormus exiguus Distant 1886
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini