Kamis, 02 September 2010

Butterfly of the Month

We feature the Pale Grass Blue (Zizeeria maha serica) as our Butterfly of the Month in March 2010.   This species was one of the first new taxons to be discovered and added to the Singapore Checklist.   It probably appeared in Singapore some time prior to 2001.  In Oct 2001, veteran butterfly enthusiast Steven Neo (author of the Science Centre series – A Guide to the Common Butterflies of Singapore) encountered a strange butterfly that did not match anything in the reference books on Singapore’s butterflies. 

It was only in 2002/2003 when the late Col John N Eliot was consulted that we had confirmation that this was the Pale Grass Blue of whch the type specimen was from Hong Kong.  Its appearance here was probably due to inadvertent human agency rather than natural migration of the species.  It has remained a permanent resident in Singapore, and can be often found in urban parks and gardens, fluttering amongst wild flowers in grassy patches and low herbage.

Butterfly of the Month – February 2010
As we greet the Year of the Metal Tiger on 14 Feb 2010, we also feature one of our ‘tamer’ tigers in Singapore, the Common Tiger.  A relatively common butterfly, the Common Tiger can be seen in parks, gardens and coastal areas where its host plant are found.  The Common Tiger is predominantly orange with black veins giving an appearance that is reminescent of its more ferocious namesake.
It occurs in two forms – the orange-hindwinged form-genutia and the white-hindwinged form-intermedius, of which the orange form is the more common of the two in Singapore.  The species displays aposematic colouration, as its caterpillar host plant endows the adult butterfly with some of the poisonous alkaloids that make the butterfly unpalatable to some predators.


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