Another Bushbrown to add to all the confusion among bushbrowns. The third Bushbrown featured today is probably the Dark-Branded Bushbrown (Mycalesis mineus).
Thursday, December 5, 2013
This is allegedly a Long-Brand Bushbrown ( Mycalesis visala). You can read my previous post to know why I say 'allegedly'.
All this confusion about bushbrown species makes photographing butterflies much more action packed. I cannot take it for granted that I have already photographed a particular species, it just may turn out to be a new one all together.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The thirtieth species from my garden is the Common Bushbrown, ( Mycalesis perseus )
We have many of these hanging around the bamboo grove and the compost pit. They are easily recognisable as a group, all being some shade of brown on both wing surfaces, and marked with a series of conspicuous ocelli, and a single straight median line across the underside of both wings.
The genial Peter, got back to me immediately and wrote " ...I usually do not put names to these. They need to be dissected for certain identification. In the case of the bushbrown, one needs to see the brands (areas of specialized scales) between the forewing and hindwing, in the region of overlap.... "
This fact only reinforced what I knew, photographs alone cannot be an infallible taxonomy tool; the good 'ol running behind and catching a butterfly too counts.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Like the name suggests, the Rice Swift ( Borbo cinnara ) is mostly found where rice is cultivated. This is again a small butterfly and I mostly spotted it when it was on flight.
The Rice Swift, prefers sunny open places, where it flies close to the ground, often settling down on plants to bask or feed on flowers. Flight is swift and rapid. Active from morning to late afternoon.
Friday, November 29, 2013
When the word butterfly is mentioned, the first thing that comes to my mind is a colourful flying fairy in my garden. But there are many inconspicuous butterflies too. For instance this Dark Grass Blue ( Zizeeria karsandra ) which is not only small, but also has a drab brown colour,
Most of the time these butterflies blend in beautifully with the surrounding foliage. Its only during flight that you notice one of these. It has a ground level flight and loves grassy patches.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The twenty seventh butterfly in the series is the Common Four-ring ( Ypthima huebneri ).
Since I started this photographic census of the butterflies of our garden, my wife, Aarina, too has been quite interested in learning the names of butterflies. Infact most of the butterflies in this series were identified by her, while I was editing the images ( which does not take more than 2-3 minutes).
A few months ago, butterflies were identified by their colour at home; "Oh! thats a blue butterfly" "Wow! such a pretty orange butterfly". Today the lines are, "there goes a glassy tiger ". "Oh is that a Striped tiger or a plain tiger on the Ixora bush" This butterfly count has been such a rewarding and learning experience for all of us.
Monday, November 25, 2013
I have never measured it, but this Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor ) is probably the biggest butterfly in our garden.
It is one of the most handsome butterflies, with blue flashing colour on its wings. It is bigger than some of the birds that visit us. The only plant that it visits in our garden is a Ixora bush. It takes about five minutes to visit all the flowers on that bush and after that it is gone.
I had featured a Common Mormon as a second butterfly in the series, the question I asked my self is- Why were these butterflies named Mormon, i.e. after a American religious group. A bit of digging I came up with this tit-bit. Harish Gaonkar, of the Natural History Museum in London, recently wrote that "the origins of giving common English names to organisms, particularly butterflies for tropical species started in India around the mid 19th century . . . The naming of Mormons evolved slowly. I think the first to get such a name was the Common Mormon (Papilio polytes), because it had three different females, a fact that could only have been observed in the field, and this they did in India. The name obviously reflected the . . . Mormon sect in America, which as we know, practiced polygamy."
Interesting theory I must admit.