Sunday, 2 March 2014


It is a weed. It grows in open areas and it grows menacingly fast.
It also happens to be a favourite amongst butterflies. Recently, white
fluffy flowers blanketed the forests as the weed flowered. I recently
visited a sprawling patch in the central catchment forest. Here are 
some of the species I sighted.

This is a colour sergeant; female form neftina. The male is mostly 
black and white like its cousins, but with hints of orange and 
blue.There were a bounty of them rapidly flying around the flowers. 
When feeding, they had a habit of opening and closing their wings a 
few times each time they landed on a new bunch of flowers.

While the colour sergeant was the most numerous species, there 
were a couple of dot-dash sergeants patrolling the area too. Most of 
them stayed high up in the canopy and teased me, refusing to 
venture lower. This one eventually came down briefly.

Besides the sergeants, there were plenty of commanders flying 
around but mostly too high up and out of my reach. 

The highlight had to the small and spectacular cornelian. The 
cornelian is a forest dwelling insect but it has been known to stray 
into parks and gardens. Prior to this, I had only seen a tattered 
individual at the Zoo; a place I least expected to see it. I did get a 
picture but it was a horrible one. At the mile-a-minute patch I had 
the chance to get a better portrait of the lovely lycaenid.

The cornelian may have been named after Carnelian, the vermillion
variety of chalcedony (that's noncrystaline quartz); it's upperside
is bright carnelian! I was able to see a less pristine one bask fully
in the distance.

Another rare sighting was of the Striped Black Crow, which I had
not seen before. This crow is confined to forested areas and usually
observed singly. It stayed very high up and this record shot was all
I managed to get as proof that I had seen it.

Butterflies are real opportunists. It seems like every time there is a  
lowering bush in the middle of the forest, all the butterflies in the 
vicinity rush over to get their fill; or I'm just seldom in the right 
place and at the right time! On a side note, I'm sorry for the three
week wait before this post. I was kept busy with my common tests! 
This year I will not be posting during my test and exam weeks. Also,
Singapore has fallen under a terrible dry spell and everything is 
shrivelling up. Hopefully the rain will be back soon.


  1. Lol...the dry spell. Was wondering why you went quiet for 3 weeks. Finally the long-awaited post has arrived. :D I'm had been weighed down by both homework and common tests over the past few weeks, so I wasn't able to shoot as well. =P

  2. Lovely selection of butterflies Jonny. I particularly like the two sergeants. Seeing them both side by side and being able to compare the markings is great! And come on!! That picture of the Striped Black Crow is no record shot! It's perfectly in focus and well framed. If I had taken a picture as good as that it would be my new main photo on my blog!

  3. @Nick: It's because the photo is not parallel (not level) with the butterfly and the angle is not the best possible. Cheers. ;)

  4. Thanks for commenting here brian! Today I saw quite a few dark clouds but I think they blew over... Oh well.

  5. Haha, Nick. You're supportive as always. Many of our sergeants actually look very similar and it is in the minute details that they differ. I'm glad that you like by crow shot! I just wish that it would have come down a little lower. :)

  6. Some great shots! When does your rainy season start normally?

  7. Thanks Sylvia! The rainy period is... all the time usually! We're 9 degrees off the equator. We do have two monsoon seasons each year though. The first, from June to September blows from the Southwest and the second, from December to Febuary, blows from the Northeast.