Thursday, 9 September 2010

the flying blue pansy

The path between my mum's place and mine is usually covered with common wayside plants. In particular, the Asytasia gangetica (also known as Coromandel or Chinese Violet) is particularly abundant along this stretch. It's no wonder then, that I would chance upon the Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya) on this particularly hot and sunny day.

Although the Blue Pansy is a fairly common butterfly in Singapore, this is the first time I have seen it around where I live. They are usually found in open grassland (particularly in areas where the Coromandel grows in abundance) and sun-lit places and doesn't fly very high, probably a metre above ground. It is also one of 4 Pansies which can be found in Singapore.

The Blue Pansy belongs to the family Nymphalidae and subfamily Nymphalinae.

These photographs were taken during noon under mid-day sun, hence the glare. Unfortunately, I didn't have my lens hood with me and had to deal with the stench of dog poo less than a metre away. I noticed that its right wing is slightly damaged, which explains why it is not entirely symmetrical.

I also noticed that the butterfly was using its proboscis which acts like a straw to suck and ingest dissolved minerals and salt found in the damp sand on the ground. Apparently, such behaviour (often called puddling) is more common amongst male butterflies.

*All images taken with Canon 7D and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro lens*

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