Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chasing Butterflies in Between Takes

We were out of town for Review and Evaluation of our funded research projects. It is scheduled for a 3-day stay in Tagaytay City, a few hours from our city office. This is a lovely tourist area specifically because of the colder temperatures, proximity to Manila, and the beautiful views of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake. In the last few years, the area expanded catering to the tourists and visitors; including hotels, lodging houses, restaurants, malls and rising condo units. At least our venue is at the back of the more congested areas.

In the morning before breakfast, i go out early to look for anything that might be nice with the camera. But my main purpose is actually to photograph butterflies. I entered a subdivision with more grasses and flowering grasses on the side street. There are butterflies, but as usual they are so flighty, and do not cooperate with me. Here are some of my camera loot.

The sky that morning is almost clear, that the sun is shining brightly,  and at 7 a.m. the heat is already a bit biting to our melanized skin. 

The banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa) flowers are in full bloom, somehow i expected insects and butterflies nectaring on them, but i didn't see any. I just realized it is not attractive for them. 

This striped albatross (STRIPED ALBATROSS  (Appias olferna peducaea) is wandering inside the thick grasses, it seldom leaves the thicket, but i was able to get a better shot.

Zizula hylax pygmaea Snellen 1876, Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

WASP MOTH, Amata s.

The above butterflies are seen in the morning on the open areas. The next are moths which are seen at night around the terrace of the hotel. When most people are already resting, while a few are in the bar getting some drinks, i was trying to capture the moths and other insects with my camera. 

Atteva sp. Yponomeutoidea: Attevidae
The above moth i posted in the Philippine Lepidoptera site in FB and an authority identified it, with further information that it is not illustrated yet among the 8 species in the country, so its species is not yet known, or probably known but not yet illustrated.

Aloa cardinalis Butler 1875 (syn. Amsacta cardinalis)  Arctiidae; Arctiinae 




Left: lacewing; Right: moth

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sunsets seen at the East

Our province home is facing the east. Our west and back side is a short mountain rage, so we just normally see the sunrise. But sometimes the sunsets are too bright and spectacular that it radiates colors to the east sky.

These are some of my sunsets seen at the east, where the sun rises.

Even the glasses of the garage seemed burning! 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Butterfly Chase Part III

I made this topic into 3 parts, delineating the area covered and the butterflies found in each area. Besides, every area has a lot of photos that will already be toxic to you, my blogger friends. In case you are here only now, the older posts are linked here too.

This third part is in the Nature Reserve of Subic. It is a mountainous area shared by 2 provinces of Bataan and Zambales. Subic has recently become well known attracting many tourists because of its development following the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, which is administered by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).  

Our Butterfly Chasing was at the trails going to El Kabayo Falls, Pamulaklakin Trail, Binictican Trail,  and nearby vicinity mainly following the river. We left our homes on Saturday morning reaching Subic at lunchtime, so we had half-day of a Saturday and another half day of Sunday for our butterfly chasing and photography. We spent the night in one of the houses at the Forest Views Residences. Our generous benefactor also provided a van for our group's use,  to-and-from the residence to the trails, as well as to the dining places in Olongapo City and SBMA. Aside from the dwelling, transport and food; he even joined us to the sites acting as our lookout-guard in case someone get lost in following a butterfly. We are so blessed! 

Of course my first priority is the waterfalls, but i will be posting the falls later in another post. This post is relegated to butterflies. Now i will enumerate everything we saw and documented.  I apologize as my collages look very disorganized. 

 Moths clockwise from top left: 1. Pingasa sp. (Geometridae; Geometrinae; Geometrini)  2. Cotachena pubescens (Crambidae; Spilomelinae) 3. Idea sp.  4. Pagyda salvalis (Carmbidae, Pyraustinae)   5. Cleora sp. 6. NOLID MOTH  Risoba sp. (Nolidae; Risobinae) 7. Cotachena pubescens (Crambidae; Spilomelinae)

Vindula dejone dejone Erichson 1834
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Heliconiini

Appias aegis illana (3) C. & R. Felder 1862 Pieridae; Pierinae,  Catopsilia pomona pomona (1) Fabricius 1775, Appias lyncida lepidana (2) Fruhstorfer 1910,  Catopsilia pomona pomona (2) Fabricius 1775, and Appias lyncida lepidana (2) Fruhstorfer 1910.

Hasora schoenherr saida Hewitson, 1867
Hesperiidae; Coeliadinae

Zethera pimplea pimplea Erichson 1834
Nymphalidae; Satyrinae

Hypolycaena erylus timolus C. & R. Felder 1862
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Theclini

Curetis tagalica tagalica C. & R. Felder 1862
Lycanidae; Curetinae

Arisbe doson nauta Tsukada and Nishiyama 1980
Papilionidae; Papilioninae; Leptocircini

Cupha arias arias C. & R. Felder 1867
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Heliconiini

Left and right are COMMON MIME, Chilasa clytia palephates (Westwood 1845, Papilionidae; Papilioninae; Papilionini), center is EUPHRATES SWORDTAIL, Arisbe decolor neozebraica Page 1987 (Papilionidae; Papilioninae; Leptocircini)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Butterfly Chase Part II

The previous post of this Butterfly Chase is posted HERE.

Part II location of our butterfly chasing and photography is in Bangkong Kahoy, Dolores, Quezon. It is about 2,158 masl or 7,080 fasl. Our group consists not only of butterfly hobbyists, but also birders, and native tree enthusiasts. The BK Valley is located in between two mountains, Mt Cristobal and Mt. Banahaw. Despite the intermittent drizzles, we also had long hours of walking and looking for moths and butterflies. Aside from seeing our intended targets, we enjoyed the fun, camaraderie and good laughter.

We left late in the afternoon back to the big city. Everyone had a fulfilled day and will have a good night sleep. Although one of our friends was still going a long way to the North, spend 6 hours of sleep in a bus and reach her home after midnight. The next days are spent reviewing our photos, posting them in FB group site, and appreciating everyone's documentation of what transpired that Saturday. We actually didn't only have lepidopterans, we had all the creatures we saw in that visit, including the lovely landscape.

 Mt. Cristobal

Mt. Banahaw slopes, main mountain is covered with clouds

Cyrestis maenalis maenalis Erichson 1834
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Cyrestini 

 Menelaides polytes ledebouria Eschscholtz 1821
Papilionidae; Papilioninae; Papilionini

Menelaides helenus lyspaspes C. & R. Felder 1862
Papilionidae; Papilioninae; Papilionini

MMydosama ita ita C. & R. Felder 1863
Nymphalidae; Satyrinae

Nacaduba kurava kurava Moore 1858
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

Eurema alitha Fruhstorfer 1910
Pieridae; Coliadinae

Vagrans sinha sinha Kollar 1844
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Heliconiini

Nyctemera lustuosa
Erebidae; Arctiinae; Arctiini

Luxiaria sp. 
Geometridae; Ennominae; Eutoeini

Taractrocera luzonensis

also a disabled moth with wings not dried properly

Azota heliconia philippina (sorry its right wing is deformed, another disabled moth)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Butterfly Chase

The first week of May was a self-declared holiday for me. I joined a group of Butterfly Watchers in the country called Philippine Lepidoptera. It was an informal Facebook Group of butterfly hobbyists trying to formally document all the Lepitoptera, meaning butterflies and moths, in the Philippines. The three administrative members invited me to join them to three locations, The Makiling Botanical Gardens in Laguna; Bangkong Kahoy in Dolores, Quezon; and Subic Bay in Zambales. All the three sites are also resort areas visited by local and foreign tourists. They also include protected forest domains.

This is the first time i personally met them, so photographing butterflies and moths in the wild also served as our bonding moments. We also have a guest member, whom we consider as the most professional entomologist in the group. His Masters and PhD degrees are on butterflies of the country, done in the US. In one of the places, another groups of enthusiasts joined us, the native trees group and some birders. I will be showing you some of my finds.

PART I: Makiling Botanical Gardens, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna

 Common Five Ring
 a moth found in the grasses

a skipper is considered a butterfly

Taractrocera luzonensis luzonensis Stadnger 1889
Hesperiidae; Hesperiinae

Cepora aspasia olga Eschoscholtz 1821
Pieridae; Pierinae

Junonia hedonia ida Cramer 1775
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Nymphaliini

Zizula hylax pygmaea Snellen 1876
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatin

Prosotas nora semperi Fruhstorfer 1916
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini


Tanaecia calliphorus calliphorus C.; R. Felder 1863
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Limenitidini

Arhopala abseus amphea C. & R. Felder 1865
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Theclini

Pithecops corvus corax Fruhstorfer 19919
Lycaenidae; Lycaeninae; Polyommatini

Cyrestis maenalis maenalis Erichson 1834
Nymphalidae; Nymphalinae; Cyrestini
Lamproptera meges decius C.; R. Felder 1862
Papilionidae; Papilioninae; Leptocirchini

We were all thrilled spotting the green dragontail, it is seen only mostly when there are brooks or creeks as they love to puddle in mud.  Some of my companions went down the creek, but i opted to stay in higher grounds. Fortunately, the dragontail privileged me to take its photo. It alighted near me on the bushes. 

I hope the butterfly enthusiasts will appreciate my posts. There are other finds that i was not able to photograph. I will continue the other finds from other areas in the next posts. 

Thank you so much!

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