We were based in a guesthouse just north of Ubud for the whole of our two weeks in Bali. It was five minutes’ walk from the nearest road, along a narrow footpath (and scooterpath) through the rice paddies. We could, and often did, walk all the the way into the city on the same track. The forty-minute stroll ran beside the edge of a steep narrow valley much of the way, passing occasional houses, craft stalls, shops and ‘warungs’ – local eating places ranging from very basic food stalls to simple but delightful restaurants.
Most of our largest butterflies are Swallowtails (Papilionidae), with the Cairns Birdwing (female wingspan to 150mm) and Ulysses (108mm) notable amongst them, but we also have smaller Swallowtails such as the Blue, Pale and Green-spotted Triangles (Graphium spp.) between 57 and 65mm. Most of the Nymphs (Nymphalidae) – Crows, Soldiers, Tigers, etc – are about this size, with wingspans between 50 and 65mm. Many of the Whites and Yellows (Pieridae) – Migrants, Jezebels and Albatrosses, for instance – are in the same range, too, while the others are all smaller and Skippers (Hesperiidae) and Blues (Lycaenidae) are smaller still. (Links on Latin names take you to collections of my photos on flickr.)
Swallowtails are named for the ‘tails’ which extend from their hind wings but not all Swallowtails have tails: Ulysses and Fuscous do, while others have mere tokenistic points instead of proper tails and the Chequered, Clearwing, Dainty and the Cairns Birdwing manage without any at all. On the other hand, many non-Swallowtails, especially Blues, do have tails.
What, then, are we to make of this handsome butterfly, with its 85mm wingspan and not one but two tails on each hind wing?
The historical range of the Lurcher (Yoma sabina, Nymphalidae) was always to the North of Townsville but, as I said last year, has recently extended to the city. At that time I had only seen a couple of blow-ins, but I’ve seen more since then and last week we had a group of four or five feeding on our bottlebrush Continue reading “Lurchers, naturalised”
Even after some eight years of regularly photographing insects in my suburban quarter-acre, I see “new” species – not necessarily new to me, far less new to science, but new (to my knowledge) to the garden.
It happened again this morning, with this Meadow Argus, Junonia villida, spotted on the back steps and photographed in the edge of the pool nearby. I don’t recall having seen one here before, although I know them from the Town Common (photo on flickr) and from Hervey’s Range.