Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Butterflies of Batanes II

I have long been attempting to post this second part of the Batanes Butterflies, but something seems to be more urgent always. I have uploaded the first few, and i have forgotten all about it. Now i am trying to fill the gap. This trip in Batanes is purposely to look for butterflies, exploratory, and we wouldn't have seen them if we did not courageously decided on a traverse hike from one seashore to another seashore of Sabtang Island through the mountain range. This hike was posted HERE earlier while the first post on butterflies is HERE.

We were almost disappointed at the residential areas near the seashores because it is too windy, the breeze has salt contents and we only saw the tiny blues. In the mountains, it is a different story.

 Top and Bottom: WHITE TIGER
Danaus melanippus edmondii Lesson 1837 
Nymphalidae; Danainae; Danaini

White Tigers are a bit common in that area of the mountain. We saw a few individuals although they are not very cooperative. At least we were able to get these shots.

Mycalesis igoleta igoleta C. & R. Felder 1863
Nymphalidae; Satyrinae

Mycalesis igoleta igoleta C. & R. Felder 1863 (extreme dry season form)
Nymphalidae; Satyrinae

We have lots of this in our area in the province. However, my first look here says it is a different species. Later confirmation by our butterfly expert says it is the same Bushbrown, although the very less discernible spots on both upper and lower wings say it is an extreme dry season form. I have seen Dry Season Forms in my area during this hot conditions, and there still are bigger spots compared to this one. 

Vindula dejone dejone Erichson 1834 
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Heliconiini

This was so high up on trees and didn't give us more chances for pictures. This shot only give us a few details to identify it. It was a worn-out one though, but this is the only one we met on the way. 

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

 Top and Bottom 2: LIME BLUE
Chilades lajus athena C. & R. Felder 1865
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

Lime Blue is a lifer for me. My buddy went ahead to the nook as it was already very hot outside, we are bathing in sweat. When this butterfly arrives giving me some difficulty. But despite the heat and itchy feelings from the weeds, i was able to take some photos. It is my first time to see this, a lifer, ; eventually, the Philippine Lepidoptera Group administrator said Batanes is a new location for this find. I am glad i persisted on it and ignored the heat.

 Top and Bottom:  GREAT ORANGE TIP
Hebomoia glaucippe philippensis Wallace 1863
Pieridae; Pierinae

This Orange Tip also gave me a difficult time. It flips and leaves so quickly from a perch that a lot of photos did not give me much descent ones. Moreover, the 2nd perch is so far from the previous spot that it was difficult to follow. I even wonder if the flitting seconds already gave it the chance to get some nectar!

Hebomoia glaucippe philippensis Wallace 1863
Pieridae; Pierinae

Menelaides polytes ledebouria
Papilionidae, Papilioninae, Papilionini

One funny thing about our traverse climb is the presence of this Common Mormon all throughout our hike. It has been there from the beginning and didn't leave us till we were back to where we started. Actually, there are a few of them, and they exchange roles in being on our path. They just fly low and alight low on the weeds. They just seem to be always on our line of sight, and that gave it the title "Guide", our little pet on the way. Sometimes it was gone for a few minutes, then when it appeared again we both said "hi guide".  We even kiddingly said goodbye to it as we leave the mountain and approach the area of humans. 

 Idea leuconoe larva

We also saw lots of paperkites, Idea leuconoe. But they are mostly on top of trees or flying high on areas on the cliffs. They always have the characteristic-dainty-flying white butterflies, but they are mostly in too difficult places for us to photograph. We just content ourselves watching them, and at least we knew they are found in Sabtang, Batanes. 

Autumn Leaf larvae on Pseuderanthemum reticulatum
Doleschallia bisaltide philippensis Fruhstorfer 1899
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Nymphaliini

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