Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Common Bushbrown

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 difficult part is to identify the exact species. I was so flummoxed by this problem, that I decided to write to the person who inspired the series in the first place- Peter Smetacek himself.
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. 

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