Thursday, 16 August 2018

240. The Nonsuch Palmer (Creteus cyrina cyrina)

Number: 240
Family: Hesperiidae
Sub-Family: Hesperiinae
Species: Creteus cyrina cyrina
Common name(s): The Nonsuch Palmer
Rarity: Rare
Habitat: Lowland forested area
Province(s)/Places sighted: Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (Chaiyaphum)

A beautiful species that I only got a fleeting glimpse of last year while dragonfly hunting turned out to be the Nonsuch Palmer (Creteus cyrina cyrina). It is a little dark stunner but with bullet-like speed it landed right in front of me like a flash and then disappeared in the same fashion. I would have liked to have seen more of him but at least I have now seen it!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

239. The Elbowed Pierrot (Caleta elna noliteia)

Number: 239
Family: Nymphalidae
Sub-Family: Polyommatinae
Species: Caleta elna noliteia
Common name(s): The Elbowed Pierrot
Rarity: Uncommon
Habitat: Mid-Lowland Forested area (a.s.l. approximately 800-900m)
Province(s) / Place(s) sighted: Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (Chaiyaphum)

This solitary specimen I found feeding off a bird turd, under low and heavy cover (with many common small species hiding from the oppressive heat. It was amongst a load of mud on the edge of a drying pond and I got covered in mud just getting this shot. It was well worth it, though, as this is the first time I have spotted and photographed this species. It is most definitely uncommon or even rare in this area. Hopefully I will see it again under better conditions.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

A Trip to Nam Phong NP, Khon Kaen

Location: Nam Phong National Park, Khon Kaen NE Thailand  
Habitat: Lowland forest (up to around 300 a.s.l.)  
Date: 19th March, 2016  
Weather: Painfully hot

Well, yet another early season dragonfly hunt turned out to be a short butterfly session. By 9am it was already sweltering and I had already got through about 2 litres of water. I was searching for a specific dragonfly which I had spotted there on several occasions before ... The Golden Flangetail (Sinictinogomphus clavatus phaleratus). It is a big and beautiful dragonfly and I have a few record shots of it on my blog here. Though it is scarce here, I usually see it and want better photos. However, it had better ideas (or wasn't stupid like me) and was hiding well away from the blistering sun. That said, a few early morning butts rushed to a muddy section to get what they could before the morning sun got too hot. It is not the best place in the world as it has been pretty much destroyed by humans, but there are still a few nice species knocking about and I will return from time to time, especially as it is only 40 minutes away and free. 

Anyway, I managed to record three news species for me (and another which I don't know what it is). Though the early part of the morning was OK, by 11am everything had all but vanished. By 12pm, so had I, leaving the buffaloes to wallow in the shallow pool the remained.

Here are my best photos of the day:

The regulars ... nothing rare, but beautiful all the same.

The Spot Swordtail (a regular visitor)
 The Fivebar Swordtail
 The Lime Butterfly (seriously common, but I rarely see them puddling)
  The Lime Butterfly (... and then I see two at once)
  The Zebra Blue (common, but I don't see the female often)
  The Plains Cupid (another resident)
  The Common Rose (seriously common, as its namesake, but I rarely see the female ... soooo pale)

And now for my new additions:

 The Mango Baron (very common apparently, but I haven't seen it before)

 The Blue Pansy (blink and you will miss it - if you even see it)
  The Gray-Washed Oakblue (probably)
  The 'no idea' Butterfly (does anyone have any idea? It was very pink)

238. The Mango Baron (Euthalia aconthea gurda)

Number: 238
Family: Nymphalidae
Sub-Family: Limenitidinae
Species: Euthalia aconthea gurda  
Common name(s): The Mango Baron
Rarity: Uncommon
Habitat: Lowland Forested area (a.s.l. approximately 300m)
Province(s) / Place(s) sighted: Nam Phong National Park (Khon Kaen)
It is supposed to be common, found in the Mango trees in many parks, villages and gardens .... yet this is the first time I have clapped eyes on The Mango Baron. And I even got the ID wrong. I thought it was The White-Tipped Baron, which is found at nearby Phu Wiang NP. Still, even though it looks a little dull from afar, on closer inspection, it really is rather beautiful.

ID credit: Prasobsuk Sukkit

237. The Gray-Washed Oakblue (Arthopala aurelia)

Number: 237
Family: Lycaenidae
Sub-Family:  Theclinae
Species: Arthopala aurelia
Common name(s): The Gray-Washed Oakblue
Rarity: Uncommon
Habitat: Lowland Forested area (a.s.l. approximately 300m)
Province(s) / Place(s) sighted: Nam Phong National Park (Khon Kaen)

This species I am not 100% sure of, but it looks a good match anyway. Please advise if I am wrong. This was a very difficult species to get near as it seemed to constantly dropping into holes in the mud to avoid the sun's heat. This was the best I got.


236. The Blue Pansy (Juninia orithya ocyale)

Number: 236          
Family: Nymphalidae    
 Sub-Family:  Nymphalinae            
Species: Juninia orithya ocyale   
Common name(s): The Blue Pansy    
Rarity: Uncommon           
Habitat: Lowland Forested area (a.s.l. approximately 300m)     
Province(s) / Place(s) sighted: Nam Phong National Park (Khon Kaen)
The Blue Pansy form ocyale I have now spotted three times and never got anywhere near it. It shoots off even if you blink. It's the same as The Yellow Pansy ... two seriously tough species to get near. Fortunately, call it luck, or that fact that it was 40 degrees at 9.00am and it was too lazy to go fast and I managed to get this slightly better than a record shot. One day, I will drop upon a really lazy one and get great shots.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

A Trip to Phu Wiang (2)

Location: Phu Wiang National Park, Khon Kaen NE Thailand 
Habitat: Lowland forest (up to around 500 a.s.l.) 
Date: 11th March, 2016 
Weather: Baking hot

With the dragonfly season still a good way off (seemingly forever away), I decided to go back to a local place (for me) known as Phu Wiang National Park. It is a fairly small forested national park and at low altitude. However, it is the perfect escape from crowds of people and you pretty much have the place all to your self. Every time I have been, there have been thousands of specimens all over the place as soon as you start the climb to the top. This time, however, it was very quiet. Worryingly quiet. I think it is even too early for the butts. I made my way up the road to the top which is a nice single road. I reached the first of my favourite places, which is basically a small area that has overflow pipes going under the road and it slightly cut out of either side. Last time I visited here, there were butts everywhere. This time, it was completely overgrown by grass and was bone dry. I moved on. There is a 'river' at the top which is mostly dry except for the heaviest parts of the rainy season. However, there are a couple of large ponds that seem to be there year-round. Right now, however, they are too small and look seriously like they could dry up before the rains come. This is a worry for the resident dragons and other aquatic life that hang on for dear life during these times. There is also another pond which is large and sustains a lot of life. Again, this is now tiny and on the verge of drying out. 

I did manage to spot a fair few new species for the place and for my records. I am hopeful that there are at least 200 species that reside here and I hope to record many more throughout the coming years. It is a great little place for butt hunting and should be visited if you are in the area. 

Here are my best shots of the day:

A female Black & White Helen resting early in the morning

All that glitters isn't gold ... the very common, but no less stunning Paris Peacock. 

Male and female Malay Baron - a common visitor

Other visitors include:

The Glassy Tiger

The Marbled Map ... a very fragile-looking species
 The Red Spot Duke, female ... a fairly regular visitor
 The Orchid Tit ... a stunning little chap
 I think this a female Malayan (I often see the male)
 The Spotted Zebra, very common here ... and seems to attract bees! Hehe
 Another very common species is The Great Eggfly ... though this is first time I have managed to get them with their wings open!

 Finally, a decent shot of The Spotted Beak

 And now for the six newcomers (well, the first time I have seen them, anyway):

The Common Birdwing - as the name suggests, it is common - but getting decent shots isn't
 The Zigzag Flat - small, rare and beautiful!
 The Common Mime - one of the most skittish butts I have encountered
 The Chestnut Angle - very difficult to spot
The Yellow Pasha - my first of this kind!
 The Tree Flitter ... and it did just that!

 I will be visiting the park on numerous occasions this season to try to establish just how many species reside here. Watch this space!