Blue Moon Butterfly
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|I believe this is the female form of the male eggfly I posted here.|
My Malaysia Travelogue
Blue Moon Butterfly (Female)
Also known as Great Eggfly or Common Eggfly
The Great Eggfly is a black-bodied butterfly with a wingspan of about 7–8½ cm. The species has a high degree of sexual dimorphism. The female is mimetic with multiple morphs.
The upper side of the wings are jet black, offset with three pairs of white spots – two on the forewing and one on the hind. These white spots are suffused with purple. In addition, the upper side of the hind wing bears a series of small white dots.
The upper side of the wings of the female is a brownish black and does not have any spots like those of the male. The edges bear white markings which are similar to those of the Common Indian Crow.
Great Eggflies are found in Madagascar in the west, through to South and Southeast Asia, South Pacific islands (French Polynesia, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu) and occurs in parts of Australia, Japan and New Zealand.
The Great Eggfly is a fairly common butterfly found in lightly wooded country, deciduous forests, thick and moist scrub and the greener parts of human habitation.
To the west the female is monomorphic, mimicking species of the oriental and Australasian danaid genus Euploea. Eastwards H. bolina is frequently polymorphic and most forms are then non-mimetic. In areas where it resembles Euploea the butterfly has usually been designated a Batesian mimic.
Great Eggflies are known for maternal care, with the females guarding leaves where eggs have been laid. Males are also very territorial. The female hovers over a plant to check for ants which will eat her eggs. After selecting a plant which has no ants on it, she lays at least one but often two to five eggs on the undersides of the leaves.
The eggs are a pale, glassy green with longitudinal ridges except on the top.
After about four days the eggs hatch. The caterpillars immediately disperse. They are black with an orange head. The last segment is also orange. The head bears a pair of long branched black horns. The body surface is also covered with long, branched, orangish black spines. These spines look whitish and transparent immediately after moulting, but soon become the usual orange. In later instars the spiracles are surrounded by thin, dirty orange rings. Infection by Wolbachia bacteria is known to exclusively kill male specimens.
The pupa is suspended by just one point. It is brown with a grey tinge on the wings. The abdominal segments have distinct tubercles. The surface of the pupa is rough. The butterfly emerges after seven to eight days as pupae (female development is always a bit longer).
This photo was taken at the Penang Butterfly Sanctuary.
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- [2007-12-05 1:18]
Hi Manyee, another excellent image from you. It's is a lovely post. The colours and details of the butterfly are good,
nice colours and composition,
- [2007-12-07 8:56]
It´s a very good image of this butterfly.
With the leaves all around and their edges so clear it makes the perfect compliment for this butterfly.Excellent lighting and clarity.