Monday, April 22, 2013

The Glorious Begum, Agatasa calydonia calydonia (Hewitson)

This butterfly is an uncommon forest insect and can only be seen when it comes down for puddling on moist spots. It is a large and handsome butterfly with some of the most striking underside markings to be seen among the malayan nymphalids. Males are essentially carrion feeder but females are attracted to rotting fruits.

Habitat indicator
RSP
WV
PG
VF
FTR
SC
LWDF
LWPF
LMEF
UMN
MN






x
 x
 x



Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)
2013
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
S3F








2013
2014
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct






S2S2S2


2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
S3
S3

S3
S3
S1S3
S2
S1


S2



2016
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
S3
S3


S2
S1S2
S1S2
S2
S2S3S5
S17


2017
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec













2018
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec














24 March 2013 at 12:45 pm
As luck would have it, I was about to leave the spot when I accidently soiled my feet, necessiting a retour to the river's edge to clean up and subsequently I spotted this large black and white butterfly fluttering about the sandbank and when it settled, there were no words to explain the awe of its magnificent beauty. I ran back to my car and the rest is for all to see...

Wallace wrote in his book The Malay Archipelago Chapter III Malacca and Mount Ophir in 1854:

"At Ayer-panas we had a comfortable house to stay in, and plenty of room to dry and preserve our specimens; but, owing to there being no industrious Chinese to cut down timber, insects were comparatively scarce, with the exception of butterflies, of which I formed a very fine collection. The manner in which I obtained one fine insect was curious, and indicates how fragmentary and imperfect a traveller's collection must necessarily be. I was one afternoon walking along a favourite road through the forest, with my gun, when I saw a butterfly on the ground. It was large, handsome, and quite new to me, and I got close to it before it flew away. I then observed that it had been settling on the dung of some carnivorous animal. Thinking it might return to the same spot, I next day after breakfast took my net, and as I approached the place was delighted to see the same butterfly sitting on the same piece of dung, and succeeded in capturing it. It was an entirely new species of great beauty, and has been named by Mr. Hewitson—Nymphalis calydona. I never saw another specimen of it, and it was only after twelve years had elapsed that a second individual reached this country from the northwestern part of Borneo."

This beauty came to my usual observation post attracted by my bait - a 2 minute window of opportunity to catch a glimpse of its inside and undersides...





Above photos 15 June 2014 @ 11:57-11:59 (S2)


Above photos 12 July 2014 @ 16:52 (S2)



Above photos 19 July 2014 @ 12:31 - 39 (S2)

 13:09

13:09

 13:12

 13:13

13:17
Above photos 01 Nov 2014

12 Dec 2014@13:46 (S3)

*     *     *     *     *
The next day, another pristine GB came puddling at the same spot...

 14:27

A glimpse of its uppers

 14:36

13:39 - when disturbed, it flew and settled on a concrete pilar of a nearby hut...

then went up to a trunk of a tall tree...


and came down again to puddle: 14:57
Above all photos 13 Dec 2014 (S3)

A worn male: 24 May 2015 @ 11:17 (S2)

S2- strangely perched low and unafraid of human presence...11:54

then it came puddling on a moist boulder (probably animal urinated spot) on the forest floor: 21 Sep 2015 @ 11:57

 12:36

 12:37

 12:40

 12:40

12:40
Above pictures 10 Jan 2016

Females are rare and usually do not descend to feed, being very sensitive to human presence. They ressembles the males but are larger in size with decidedly longer and wider forewings and hindwings. This large pristine female came to a fruit bait - note its large size in comparison to a Malayan Owl, Neorina lowii. 21 Feb 2016 @ 11:50.


*     *     *     *     *

Ever now and then, Nature plays with its creations and then this came out: a rather "washed-out" specimen which lacks the intricate patterning of the usual ones:

15 June 2015 @ 12:25 (S1)

The next day a "normal" one came to the exact same spot: 16 June 2015 @ 14:14 (S1)

19 June 2016 @ 12:10

03 July 2016 @ 15:06

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