Saturday, January 29, 2011

Butterflies and rainforest

Like most people, I like butterflies. (Who doesn't?:D). However, while i like them and think they are beautiful, I never really have very high regard for them. So the butterflies pollinate a few flowers, plants and crops, but they are no where as efficient as the bees in this aspect.

I didn't realize how wrong I was until I stumbled upon this website: Langkawi-gazette

Excerpt from the page:

The rainforest – once going into decline, can not recreate itself, because the Butterflies will be missing

What have the Butterflies to do with it ?

Here we have to know two things: Langkawi has such a big number of species of Butterflies (340) because his rain forest has such a huge number of different plants and trees. Each specie of butterfly is dependent upon a certain kind of plant or a certain kind of tree and in return helps this plant or tree to fertilize its seeds.

Once a species of Butterfly is extinct, because there were no more trees of a certain kind to sustain it, the seeds of the remaining trees of this specie will not be fertilized anymore: a downward spiral.

Simply counting the species of Butterflies immediately shows if a forest is untouched and in good shape (with many kinds of trees), or if it has already declined to a near mono culture of only a few species of trees left.

That’s why the Butterflies are so important, because Butterflies (and the Moths) are the ones who fertilize the seeds of the trees in the flowers on the top of the crown. This is not done by Bees or Wasps or any other insects, it’s done by the Butterflies

Here's to all the beautiful butterflies out there!

Lime butterfly, Papilio demoleus
lime butterfly IMG_1856

Great Orangetip butterfly (Hebomoia glaucippe). Selangor, Malaysia.
Great Orangetip IMG_2719 copy

Green Dragontail butterfly (Lamproptera meges meges - ID credit: Lc Goh ). Sabah (Borneo).
Green Dragontail _MG_7144 copy

Delias cinerascens cinerascens. ID credit: Les Day.
Delias cinerascens cinerascens  _MG_7148 copy

A small congregation of Rajah Brooke's birdwing butterflies (Trogonoptera brookiana) at a salt lick.
IMG_8885 copy

A bunch of puddling Rajah Brooke's birdwing butterflies (Trogonoptera brookiana ssp. albescens). Can you spot the two odd ones out?
R0022039 copy
Odd ones: One is Great Mormon. And one top maybe Red Helen or Black and White Helen.

IMG_7700 copy Rajah Brooke's birdwing, Trogonoptera brookiana

Koh-I-Noor, Amathuxidia amythaon dilucida
IMG_6743v2 copy Koh-I-Noor, Amathuxidia amythaon dilucida

Dark Jungle Glory, Thaumantis noureddin noureddin
IMG_6313 copy Dark Jungle Glory, Thaumantis noureddin noureddin

The Leaf Butterfly (Kallima limborgii amplirufa)
Kallima limborgii amplirufa (The Leaf Butterfly) DSC_5636 copy

Giant Saturn, Zeuxidia aurelius
IMG_5510 copy Giant Saturn, Zeuxidia aurelius

Blue glassy tiger,  Ideopsis vulgaris macrina
Ideopsis vulgaris macrina blue glassy tiger DSC_6818 copy

Royal Assyrian, Terinos terpander robertsia
Terinos terpander robertsia (Royal Assyrian) DSC_4110 copy

Club Silverline, Spindasis syama terana 
Spindasis syama terana ( Club Silverline ) DSC_8009 v2 copy

Magpie Crow (Euploea radamanthus radamanthus)
Magpie crow ( Euploea radamanthus radamanthus) IMG_3310 copy

Pirdana hyela rudolphii (Green-striped Palmer) - ID credit: Loke Peng Fai, Jerome Chua. Selangor, Malaysia.
Green Striped Palmer IMG_8809 copy

Vindula dejone erotella (The Cruiser)
<br>Vindula dejone erotella (The Cruiser) butterfly IMG_0143 copy

Allotinus horsfieldi
Allotinus horsfieldi butterfly DSC_8778

Lesser Harlequin (Laxita thuisto thuisto)
Lesser Harlequin (Laxita thuisto thuisto) IMG_5259 copy

Malay Red Harlequin (Paralaxita damajanti damajanti)
Malay Red Harlequin (<i>Paralaxita damajanti damajanti</i>) IMG_6358 copy

Harlequin, Taxila haquinus haquinus
IMG_7421 copy faded Harlequin, Taxila haquinus haquinus

A really faded Yellow Flash (Rapala domitia domitia)
Yellow Flash (<i>Rapala domitia domitia</i>) IMG_6405 copy

A male Horsfield's Baron (Tanaecia iapis puseda)
Male Tanaecia iapis puseda (Horsfield's Baron) IMG_3281 stk copy

Faunis gracilis
Faunis gracilis IMG_6362 copy

Lesser Darkie (Allotinus unicolor unicolor) trying to mate at night?
Lesser Darkie (Allotinus unicolor unicolor) IMG_0167 copy

Callidulida - Callidula sp. moth
Callidulidae - Callidula sp. moth IMG_5730 copy

The Plush, female (Sithon nedymond nedymond)
The Plush (Sithon nedymond medymond) IMG_9790 copy

Common Imperial (Cheritra freja frigga)
Common Imperial IMG_9447 copy

Common Imperial (Cheritra freja frigga)
Common Imperial (Cheritra freja frigga) IMG_5799b copy

Branded Imperial butterfly (Eooxylides tharis distanti)and an ant.
Branded Imperial butterfly and a yellow crazy ant..IMG_0337merged copy

Branded Imperial butterfly and an ant. IMG_0367 copy

DSC_8244 copy

Found this one sleeping at night.
IMG_8339 copy

Polyura hebe plautus (Plain Nawab)
Polyura hebe plautus (Plain Nawab) .DSC_7010 copy

Hypolimnas bolina jacintha (Jacintha Eggfly)
Hypolimnas bolina jacintha (Jacintha Eggfly) IMG_0216 copy

Ideopsis gaura perakana (Smaller Wood Nymph)
DSC_5735 copy

Yellow Glassy Tiger butterfly (Parantica aspasia aspasia)
Parantica aspasia aspasia Yellow Glassy Tiger butterfly DSC_2101 copy

Zizina otis lampa (Lesser Grass Blue) butterfly
Zizina otis lampa (Lesser Grass Blue) butterfly DSC_9402 copy

White dragontail
A white dragontail IMG_8964 copy

Tanaecia iapis puseda..Horsfield's Baron
IMG_1350 (2) copy

Skipper butterfly Taractrocera ardonia lamia
Skipper butterfly <i>Taractrocera ardonia lamia </i>IMG_6930 copy

Yeoman butterfly, Cirrochroa malaya calypso
Yeoman butterfly, Cirrochroa malaya calypso IMG_6366 copy

Yellow glassy tiger
Yellow glassy tiger DSC_5865 copy

Black Helen butterfly, Papilio nephalus albolineatus
 Black Helen butterfly, Papilio nephalus albolineatus <br></p><p>IMG_7243 copy

Tufted king butterfly, Charaxes bernardus crepax
Tufted king butterfly, Charaxes bernadus repetitus IMG_6433 copy

The Malayan Albatross  butterfly
The Malayan Albatross  butterfly IMG_8177 copy

Likely an Arhopala ammonides chunsu
Arhopala ammonides chunsu butterfly DSC_8244 copy

Mating pair of Sailors on my finger, not sure of the exact sp.,
mating pair of sailors butterfly R0020925 copy

mating pair of sailors butterfly IMG_6131 (2) copy
More bugs porn here.

Malayan Owl (Neorina lowii neophyta)
Neorina lowii neophyta(Malayan Owl) IMG_8737 copy

Agatasa calydonia calydonia (Glorious Begum)
Agatasa calydonia calydonia (Glorious Begum) IMG_6190 (2) copy

If you would like to learn more about butterflies and butterfly photography, I highly recommend that you check out the Butterfly Circle. Also check out my buddy LC Goh's great collection of butterfly images!

Please watch this short clip: The Butterfly's Tale

the butterfly's tale;
Swarms of butterflys were once widespread across our countrysides, but now you will be lucky to see one or two...
The decline is due to Industrial agriculture, the loss of 97% England's natural grasslands and wildflower meadows, the increase of motorways and urban development plus climate change which brings new predators and diseases..
Butterflys are essential eco system pollinators benefiting both agriculture and medical science for its plant derived medecines, as well as being sensitive indicators of environmental change.

The last species extinct in Britain, the Large Blue (Maculinea Arion)(d.1979) was re-established in the 1980's by Professor Thomas, who stated "What is bad for butterflys is bad for all species -- including our own''.
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Other Species recently extinct in the UK; Mazarine Blue (d.1904) Black-Veined White (d.1925) & Large Tortoiseshell(d.1970's). Currently 1/3 of only 435 species in Europe are under threat...
Around the world the Large Copper of Ireland, Giant Swallowtail of Jamaica, Atewa of Ghana, American Silverspot and Apollo of the Alps have also become extinct.
In The USA the Monarch butterfly now faces drastic reductions following destruction of their milkweed seeding plant by biotech agricultural chemicals.

On a brighter note, in 2008 Sir David Attenborough the BBC's Natural history broadcaster launched a £25m conservation project to reverse this disaster. Butterfly World, has 250 species flying in its dome, and also hosts extensive gardens and meadows to attract native British species.
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To save the butterfly, plant suitable nectar producing plants, the best are the Buddlea, Ice-plant, Lavender, Michaelmas Daisy and Marjoram.
Caterpillars also need feeding so plant Holly and Ivy in sunny positions where they can grow tall and flower, & keep the Stinging Nettles as these are home for the Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral butterflys.

Original Poem the butterfly's tale c. Celestial Elf 2011.
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