Sunday, 22 January 2017

240. Chilasa paradoxa telearchus (The Great Mime)

Number: 240
Family: Papilioniidae
Sub-Family: Papilioniinae
Species:  Chilasa paradoxa telearchus (Hewitson, 1852)
Common name(s): The Great Mime 
Photography location: Tam Dao foothills (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

During a trip at Tam Dao foothills I bumped into an Euploea butterfly that, well, didn't sit right. Sadly, I had forgotten my net and was unable to capture it for closer examination but I managed to get a record shot. When I returned home I did a little digging and it turns out to be Chilasa paradoxa. Until now it has eluded me. 

Monastyrskii & Devyatkin (2016) listed 6 Chilasa species in Vietnam viz. agestor, epycides, imitata, slateri, clytia and paradoxa.
Chilasa paradoxa telearchus is an excellent mimic of the Danaid Euploea mulciber.

Chilasa paradoxa telearchus on a rock by a stream at Tây Thiên (Tam Dao foothills, August 29, 2016)
Note the UpF with end cell spot, the regular rows of elongate postdiscal bluish spots and submarginal spots

Note also the curved, robust clubbed antennae - very different from that of an Euploea species

Saturday, 21 January 2017

239. Ypthima imitans (The False Four-ring)

Number: 239
Family: Nymphaliidae
Sub-Family: Satyriinae
Species: Ypthima imitans Elwes & Edwards,1893
Common name(s): The False Four-ring
Photography location: Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

The genus Ypthima comprising more than 100 species, of which 25 are known to occur in Vietnam.
Ypthima imitans is a restricted range species recorded in Vietnam (N. & C.), S.-E. China, Hainan.

Ypthima imitans, Tam Dao (900m asl, June 2016)
At Tam Dao, found both in lowland (<400) and low montane (400-1,300m) forests, even in degraded ones

Voucher specimen showing both upper and underwing surfaces 

References; Uémura Y. & Monastyrskii, A.L., 2004. A Revisional Catalogue of the genus Ypthima Hubner (Lepidoptera : Satyridae) from Vietnam. You can download it here.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

238. Graphium eurypylus cheronus (The Great Jay)

Number: 238
Family: Papilioniidae
Sub-Family: Papilioniinae
Species: Graphium eurypylus cheronus (Fruhstorfer, [1903])
Common name(s): The Great Jay 
Photography location: Xuan Son N.P. (Phu Tho Prov.), Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

With at least 104 species, Graphium is the second largest genus in the Papilioniidae family - the first one being Papilio with around 210 species. But unlike Papilio, no Graphium species are known from the Neotropical and Nearctic ecozones. 
Monastyrskii & Devyatkin (2016) listed 20 Graphium species recorded in Vietnam viz. cloanthus, sarpedon, doson, evemon, eurypylus, chironides, leechi, arycles, agamemnon, phidias, macareus, megarus, xenocles, agetes, antiphates, aristeus, nomius, mullah, mandarinus, eurous.

Graphium eurypylus is one of the most wide-ranging Graphium - from India to Australia, range similar to that of G. agamemnon and G. sarpedonMany subspecies have been described,  G. e. cheronus is known from Sikkim to Indo-China, South China.
G. eurypylus is my 8th Graphium species seen in Vietnam.

Graphium eurypylus (center of the pic) and Graphium doson axion (+ some Appias albina) puddling on a sandy river bank at Xuan Son N.P. (August 2016)

Graphium eurypylus puddling with Appias galba and Appias albina (+ blurry Ixias pyrene in the top left corner) Cuc Phuong, July 2016

A nice variety of puddling butterflies at Xuan Son National Park - June 2014
 1 Graphium antiphates (Fivebar Swordtail), 2 Papilio nephelus chaon (Yellow Helen), 3 Papilio protenor euprotenor (Spangle), 4 Hebomoia glaucippe (Great Orange Tip), 5 Appias galba (Indian Orange Albatross), 6 Vindula erota (Common Cruiser), 7 Cepora nadina (Lesser Gull), 8 Prioneris thestylis (Spotted Sawtooth), 9 Appias lyncida (Chocolate Albatross), 10 Graphium sarpedon (Common Bluebottle), 11 Graphium eurypylus (Great Jay), 12 Graphium chironides (Veined Jay), 13 Papilio memnon (Great Mormon)

If you look closely at this image you can see 5 Graphium species (1 eurypylus, 2 chironides, 3 sarpedon, 4 doson, 5 antiphates), 4 Papilio species (6 polytes, 7 memnon, 8 nephelus chaon, 9 protenor euprotenor) and 4 Pierid species (10 Cepora nerissa, 11 Appias lyncida, 12 Appias albina, 13 Prioneris thestylis)  

Puddle party at water seepage on a rocky slope at a riverbank (Tam Dao foothills, mid-June 2016) with 5 Papilio species (1 nephelus chaon, 2 helenus, 3 bianor gladiator, 4 polytes, 5 memnon) + Graphium eurypylus cheronus (6)

Another puddle party, from Cuc Phuong (July 2016), with 4 Graphium species (1 eurypylus, 2 macareus, 3 doson, 4 antiphates), 5 Pierid species (5 Appias albina, 6 A. galba, 7 A. indra, Catopsilia pomona, 9 Prioneris thestylis)

Mud-puddling is one of the most fascinating butterfly behaviour to watch, especially in protected areas where hundreds sometimes thousands of individuals gathering at wet places. Not all butterflies species gather at mud puddles and it is a behaviour that is still not fully understood. The majority of specimens found near mud are males and quite often, while the butterfly blokes are drinking from the mud, fluids are pumped out of their abdomens.

It is believed that butterflies congregate on mud and other such substances primarily for salts. The salts and amino acids absorbed during mud-puddling play various roles in butterfly ecology, ethology and physiology. Males seem to benefit more from the sodium uptake as it aids in reproductive success, with the precious nutrients often transferred to the female during mating. This extra nutrition helps ensure that the eggs survive.

Typically, mud-puddling behavior takes place on wet soil. But even sweat on human skin or clothes may be attractive to butterflies.

237. Eurema andersoni sadanobui (The One-spot Grass Yellow)

Number: 237
Family: Pieriidae
Sub-Family: Pieriinae
Species: Eurema andersoni sadanobui Shirôzu & Yata, 1982
Common name(s): The Anderson's Grass Yellow, The One-spot Grass Yellow
Photography location: Cuc Phuong N.P. (Ninh Binh Prov.), Ba Vi N.P. (Hanoi)

Monastyrskii & Devyatkin (2016) listed 9 Eurema species in Vietnam viz. brigitta, laeta, hecabe, blanda, andersoni, ada, simulatrix, novapallida and sari - the first six recorded in the North.

Eurema andersoni sadanobui is distributed, at least, from Thailand, Cambodia to Vietnam (N., C. and S.) whereas the nominate subspecies is limited to the southern part of Thailand and Burma, the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra.
This species appears to prefer semi-open areas and forest margins. It has narrower habitat requirements than E. hecabe or E. blanda, and is not encountered in gardens, wastelands, grasslands or agricultural fields like the latter two species. More often than not, specimens are encountered singly. They often display the peculiar habit of hiding on the underside of a leaf to rest upside down. 

Eurema andersoni can be separated from the other lookalike Eurema by a single large cell spot distinctly 3-shaped on forewing underside.

 Eurema andersoni sadanobui, Cuc Phuong - July 2013
Note hindwing distal margin evenly rounded (angulate at space 3 in E. hecabe)

Eurema andersoni sadanobui, Ba Vi foothills - December 2016
There is usually a dark brown sub-apical patch on the forewing (which can sometimes be very indistinct or even absent)

236. Pieris canidia canidia (The Indian Cabbage White)

Number: 236
Family: Pieriidae
Sub-Family: Pieriinae
Species: Pieris canidia canidia (Linnaeus, 1768)
Common name(s): The Indian Cabbage White 
Photography location: Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.) and Ba Vi (Hanoi)

There may be as many as 34 species of Pieris worldwide, although the status of some is uncertain. The genus can be divided into 2 groups - the 'Large' Whites brassicae, cheiranthi, deota & tadjika; and the smaller species including rapae, mannii, napi and canidia which have more rounded fore-wings. Some taxonomists place the latter group into a distinct genus Artogeia, citing characteristics including chromosome number, ovipositing behaviour and larval morphology.

According to Monastyrskii & Devyatkin (2016), 4 Pieris species are known to occur in Vietnam viz. P. canidia canidia, P. rapae orientalis, P. erutae montana & P. brassicae nepalensis - the latter only recorded in the extreme northern corner of the country (Lao Cai Prov.), the other three more widespread (but unrecorded from the South).

Pieris canidia ranges from India to Malaysia and north to Japan. I have seen this species at Ba Vi and Tam Dao, along corridors of ruderal vegetation in forest, agricultural fields or riverbanks, sometimes side by side with Pieris rapae.

Pieris canidia canidia on Bidens flower (Tam Dao foothills, March 2016, riverbank)

Pieris canidia canidia, upperside view (Ba Vi foothills, January 2017, agricultural field)

Sunday, 15 January 2017

235. Syntarucus plinius plinius (The Zebra Blue)

Number: 235
Family: Lycaeniidae
Sub-Family: Polyommatiinae
Species: Syntarucus plinius plinius (Fabricius, 1793)
Synonym: Leptotes plinius (Fabricius, 1793)
Common name(s): The Zebra Blue, The Plumbago Blue
Photography location: Hanoi City

Syntarucus plinius (male), Hanoi, January 04, 2017

 Commonly known as Zebra Blue in reference to its zebra-striped undersides
An amazing wing pattern, indeed! 

The top side of male butterflies are purple in colour with brown wing edges
The females are brown with a patchy white pattern.

 The caterpillar feeds on the flowers and buds of Plumbago species notably
Plumbago zeylanica (photo), hence the other english name of this Lycaenid: Plumbago Blue

Friday, 13 January 2017

234. Catopsilia pomona pomona (The Lemon Emigrant)

Number: 234
Family: Pieriidae
Sub-Family: Pieriinae
Species: Catopsilia pomona pomona (Fabricius, 1775)
Common name(s): The Lemon Emigrant, The Common Emigrant
Photography location : Hanoi, Tam Dao foothills (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

Lemon Emigrant is a large, strong-flying, migratory species exhibiting a marked sexual and seasonal dimorphism. There are two groups of forms, namely the 'crocale' group and the 'pomona' group : 

The 'crocale' group is characterized by having the upperside of antennae black, and the absence of silvery spots at cell-ends on the underside. The male -f alcmeone is mostly white above but yellow in the basal third of the wings and thinly bordered at the forewing apex. The females could appear in the jugurtha or the crocale form. The -f jugurtha is creamy white above with yellow wing base and black border on the forewing costa and termen of both wings. It has a series of black submarginal markings and a black spot at cell-end on the forewing. The -f crocale has a broad black distal border with a series of whitish spots embedded on both wings.  

The 'pomona' group is characterized by having the upperside of antennae red and the presence of red-ringed silvery spots at cell-ends on the underside. The male -f hilaria has similar upperside as the male -f alcmeone but with lesser extent of basal yellow area. The females could appear in the pomona, catilla or the nivescens form. The -f pomona has yellow wings with reduced black border and markings while -f nivescens is similar but with whitish wings. The -f catilla has large reddish patches on the underside.

Catopsilia pomona, male f. hilaria (Tam Dao, September 2015), nectaring on Celosia argentea, a common weed in dry open places such as roadsides and waste lands

Male f. alcmeone (Hanoi, May 2013)

Male f. alcmeone (Hanoi, August 2015)

Male f. alcmeone in hand, to show the upperwings color patern

Female f. crocale (Hanoi, August 2015) nectaring on Bidens flowers

Female f. crocale, upperwings (Hanoi, April 2014)

Female f. jugurtha (Ba Vi, January 2017) on Lantana camara flowers
Note the black spot at cell-end on the forewing

Female f. pomona (Tam Dao foothills, September 2015)

Female f. pomona (Hanoi, July 2015)

Female f. catilla (Hanoi, April 2014)

Streamside aggregation of puddling Catopsilia pomona (Tam Dao foothills, May 2015) with males f. hilaria and f. alcmeone, + 1 Appias lyncida and 1 Appias albina (blurry)

Two puddling males f. alcmeone with Appias lyncida and Cepora nadina

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

233. Tagiades parra gala (The Multi-spotted Snow Flat)

Number: 233
Family: Hesperiidae
Sub-Family : Pyrgiinae
Species: Tagiades parra gala Evans, 1949
Common name(s): The Multi-spotted Snow Flat
Photography location: Ba Vi N.P. foothills (Hanoi)

The genus Tagiades comprises 17 known species. According to Monastyrskii & Devyatkin (2016), 7 have been recorded in Vietnam: japetus, gana, hybridus, parra, litigiosa, menaka & cohaerens

Tagiades parra gala, Ba Vi, January 7, 2017 - my third Tagiades species seen around Hanoi
Note the postdiscal HW spots 4 & 5 clumped into a large spot

232. Athyma perius perius (The Common Sergeant)

Number: 232
Family: Nymphaliidae
Sub-Family: Limenitidiinae
Species: Athyma perius perius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common name(s): The Common Sergeant
Photography location: Hanoi City

The genus Athyma is represented in Vietnam by 15 species – perius, pravara, asura, larymna, kanwa, jina, opalina, orientalis, selenophora, zeroca, whitei, cama, nefte, ranga and punctata (Monastyrskii & Devyatkin, 2016).

The shrublands and wastelands of Hanoi City are certainly not great places for butt hunting, but they can sometimes reserve some surprises. In October 2015, the surprise comes in the shape of this (migrant, vagrant ?) Athyma perius, a species that I've never seen anywhere else (despite not being particularly rare, so very probably overlooked).

Athyma perius feeding on Chromolaena odorata shrubs - Hanoi (October 20, 2015)

231. Catopsilia pyranthe pyranthe (The Mottled Emigrant)

Number: 231
Family: Pieriidae
Sub-Family: Pieriinae
Species: Catopsilia pyranthe pyranthe (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common name(s): The Mottled Emigrant
Photography location : Hanoi

 Catopsilia pyranthe (female) on Lantana camara - an extremely popular nectar source for a wide variety of butterflies (Hanoi, October 2015)

Beneath, the wings show many rather faint and short transverse striae in reddish brown, giving a "mottled" appearance

230. Danaus chrysippus chrysippus (The Plain Tiger)

Number: 230
Family: Nymphaliidae
Sub-Family: Danaiinae
Species: Danaus chrysippus chrysippus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common name(s): The Plain Tiger
Photography location: Hanoi

Four Danaus species are recorded in Vietnam: D. chrysippus, P. genutia, D. melanippus & D. affinis. Only the two former are recorded in the North of the country, where they are very common.

Danaus chrysippus is often encountered in lowlands, near cultivation, in disturbed habitats from forest clearing to wasteland, but it is not as common as Danaus genutia. The female Hypolimnias misippus is a mimic of both sexes of D. chrysippus but can be distinguished by the HW without blackish spots around discal cell and scalloped marginal edge.

 A mating pair of Danaus chrysippus (male above - note the pheromone pouch on the HW below vein 3)

Same copula, with male showing its upperwing pattern

229. Deudorix epijarbus amatius (The Common Cornelian)

Number: 229
Family: Lycaeniidae
Sub-Family: Thecliinae
Species: Deudorix epijarbus amatius Fruhstorfer, [1912]
Common name(s): The Common Cornelian
Photography location: Tam Dao foothills (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

The genus Deudorix comprise more than 60 species. Deudorix epijarbus, the only representative of the genus in Vietnam, is a wide-ranging Indomalayan species.

 Female Deudorix epijarbus amatius, Tam Dao, January 02, 2016
An unexpected find in the heart of winter

 Same individual, feeding on Chromolaena odorata flowers

Ditto - showing its underwing pattern
Female Up is brown (darker at termen and costa), whereas male Up is orange-red with a broad dark border at FW termen

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Trip to Ba Vi Mountain in December


It has taken me a while to sit down and write about my butterfly trips. Too many photos and too much to write about. This is my first butterflying report and  I hope that it will be followed by many more. Writing a detailed report is a time-consuming work but it is also a pleasurable keepsake of my butterfly adventures.

In December 2016, I headed to Ba Vi to see if some interesting butterflies were still flying around. Ba Vi Mountain is located 70 km west of Hanoi. A large part is classified as national park.

Very few butterflies were found on the mountainous trails, so I quickly decided to focus my time on the first slopes, more precisely in the Ao Vua tourist area and along the road leading to that of Suôi Tiên. I was pleasantly surprised by the result with around 105 species recorded - not bad for December!

Surveys occured primarily in early-successional habitats (shrublands, young forests...). Most of the butterfly species seen are wide-ranging, common species with broad habitat tolerance.

Collection of specimens was avoided to the extent possible. The butterflies were photographed for subsequent identification and when identification was not possible through photographs, the individuals were collected using insect net and were identified in the field and later released. Some specimens were also identified through binoculars.

Checklist of the species spotted at the location (three visits/6 hours each): 

Papilionidae
Troides aeacus ++
Troides helena ++
Pachliopta aristolochiae +
Papilio nephelus ++
Papilio demoleus +
Papilio helenus ++
Chilasa clytia +
Papilio polytes ++
Papilio memnon ++
Papilio protenor ++
Papilio paris +++ 
Papilio bianor gladiator +
Graphium sarpedon +
Graphium agamemnon +
Lamproptera curius ++
Lamproptera meges ++

Pieridae
Delias parasithoe ++
Delias hyparethe +++
Prioneris thestylis +
Pieris rapae ++
Pieris canidia + *
Appias lyncida +++
Cepora nadina +
Hebomoia glaucippe +
Ixias pyrene +
Eurema andersoni ++
Catopsilia pomona +++

Nymphalidae
Thauria lathyi +
Faunis eumeus +
Danaus genutia ++
Parantica aglae +
Parantica sita +
Parantica melaneus +
Euploea mulciber ++
Euploea core ++
Euploea tulliolus +
Tirumala septentrionis +
Elymnias hypermnestra +
Melanitis leda ++
Melanitis phedima +
Lethe confusa ++
Lethe europa +
Lethe chandica+
Lethe mekara +
Mycalesis cf. mineus +++
Mycalesis inopia +
Ypthima baldus +++
Discophora sondaica ++
Acraea issoria +
Pseudergolis wedah +
Ariadne ariadne +
Athyma asura +
Athyma selenophora +
Athyma ranga obsolescens +
Athyma nefte +
Moduza procris +
Cupha erymanthis ++
Cethosia cyane +++
Argyreus hyperbius +

*species added subsequently after another visit on January 7, 2017


Cirrochroa tyche +
Hestinalis nama +
Kanisca canace +
Symbrethia lilaea +++
Symbrethia hypselis +
Juniona iphita +++
Juniona almana ++
Juniona atlites ++
Hypolimnias bolina ++
Cyretis thyomadas +
Parthenos sylvia ++
Vindula erota +
Stibochiona nicea +
Pantoporia hordonia ++
Neptis hylas ++
Neptis harita +
Neptis clinia susruta +
Neptis sp. +
Polyura cf. athamas +
Charaxes bernardus +
Euthalia lubentina +
Euthalia monina kesava +
Euthalia alpheda + *
Cynitia lepidea +
Cynitia whiteheadi +
Tanaecia julii +

Riodinidae
Zemeros flegyas +++

Lycaenidae
Jamides bochus ++
Jamides celeno +++
Syntarucus plinius + *
Zizina otis ++
Heliophorus sp. ++
Rapala manea schistacea +
Megisba malaya +
Acytolepis puspa
Catochrysops strabo +
Arhopala sp. +
Yasoda tripunctata atrinotata +
Spindasis syama +
Prosotas dubiosa +
Nacaduba kurava or N. beroe +
Surendra quercetorum +

Hesperidae
Pseudocoladenia dan +
Matapa cf. cresta +
Tagadies litigiosa +
Tagiades parra + *
Celaenorrhinus vietnamicus ++
Notocrypta paralysos +
Halpe sp. (H. zola or H. zema) + *
Iton semamora +
Potanthus sp. ++
Parnara sp. +
Pelopidas sp. +
Ancistroides nigrita +
Caltoris sp. +
Lambrix salsala +


(Abundance : + 1-2 specimens, ++ 3-5 spec., +++ more than 5 spec.)

While strolling along the road leading to Suôi Tiên tourist area, I spotted many Papilionids flitting around the Lantana flowers. I tried to shoot as many different species as possible.
The highlight were 2 species of Troides, aeacus and helena. Though I have seen these species numerous times, they are usually gliding slowly over the canopy. I have also seen them feeding off the flowers, moving from bush to bush, but usually too far out of reach. Fortunately, along this road, some had come down to feed on Lantana flowers, completely unconcerned by my presence.

Troides aeacus, male

Troides aeacus, female

Troides helena, female

For information, both Troides helena and T. aeacus are listed in Appendices II of CITES as endangered species (as are all other Troides species). 

Pachliopta aristolochiae

 Papilio demoleus feeding on Clerodendrum chinense (a highly invasive weed in tropical and subtropical ecosystems)

Papilio memnon

Papilio protenor on Lantana camara - an extremely popular nectar source for a wide variety of butterflies

Papilio paris - fascinating beauty

The Lantana bushes attracted also this rather worn male Papilio bianor gladiator - an unexpected surprise!

Papilio bianor gladiator was described by Fruhstorfer from Tonkin [= northern Vietnam]. This taxon is recorded from Sikkim, Assam to N.Myanmar, N.Thailand, Laos, Vietnam (N. & C.), S.China

Papilio polytes courtship. Female (on the left) display the non-mimetic form cyrus


Papilio polytes, mimetic female 
(mimics the distasteful Common Rose Pachliopta aristolochiae but with an entirely black thorax and abdomen)

Lamproptera curius courtship - the male (right) was not only following the female but also turning around continuously

Lamproptera curius feeding on Bidens flowers
This species is a very curious swallowtail, indeed; in flight it resembles somewhat a dragonfly.

On the Pierids front, all very common stuff but interesting photo opportunities:

 Delias hyparethe, male - nice color harmony between the butterfly and its perch

Delias hyparethe - a distant but interesting shot of a courtship (1 female + 2 males)

female Cepora nadina


Catopsilia pomona, female f. jugurtha 

Parantica sita sita  

Euploea mulciber, male and female

Euploea core


Euploea core visiting Chromolaena odorata flowers


Tirumala septentrionis

Elymnias hypermnestra 
Not the easiest butterfly to photograph - adults are always very alert and  take flight at the slightest disturbance

I only saw a single Jungle Glory (Thaumantis diores)

The shaded trails were home to some strikingly marked shade-loving Lethe butterflies like these:

From top to bottom, left to right: Lethe chandica, L. confusa, L. europa niladana (male), L. mekara crijnana (male)

Mycalesis inopia (dry season form) - a restricted range species
Annoyingly, it was a good distance away and I managed a half-decent record shot of it

Melanitis phedima (dsf)

 Euthalia lubentina, female - a new species for me
It came down for a short while before it disappeared completely

 This male Cynitia whiteheadi (formely known as Euthalia niepelti) kept coming back to perch at the same sunny spot but rather far away

Tanaecia julii (male)

Parthenos sylvia - absolutely stunning upperwings pattern!

Acraea issoria, female laying eggs

Athyma ranga obsolescens

Athyma selenophora

female Athyma nefte asita
The female A. cama is very similar to the female of A. nefte asita but the bands are narrower & the underside bands well-defined

Euthalia monina kesava (male)
E. monina kesava is recorded in the north and the center of the coutry. It is replaced further south by E. monina remias

Hestinalis nama, a Batesian mimic of the distasteful Danaids Parantica sita  and P. melaneus.
Batesian mimics gain protection from predation through the evolution of physical similarities to a model species that possesses anti-predator defences

Moduza procris - always stunned by the beautiful pattern on its upperside wings

Female Stibochiona nicea enjoying the warm early morning sun after a cold night

Argyreus hyperbius (male)


I spotted at least 4 Neptis species, among them Neptis clinia susruta...

... and Neptis harita


Another Neptis species, this one unidentified - still working on it


Symbrethia lilaea

Kanisca canace

I saw also some lycaenids fluttering around....

Jamides bochus, male
When it was flitting around, the metallic iridescent blue upperside was simply magnificent

Jamides celeno, dry season form
In this species, the dry and wet season forms are strikingly different

Catochrysops strabo (male)

Heliophorus sp

Spindasis syama

Megisba malaya 
Above, both sexes are dark brown with a white discal patch which is more prominent in the female

Megisba malaya on a Bidens flower, to show how tiny this species is

Zizina otis covered with drops of morning dew

 Rapala manea schistacea (male)


a male Nacaduba N. kurava euplea or N. beroe gythion (I need documents for a positive ID)

Prosotas dubiosa 

Yasoda tripunctata atrinotata


Female Surendra quercetorum


Syntarucus (Leptes) plinius
Commonly known as Zebra Blue in reference to its zebra-striped undersides

On the Hesperids front, 14 species were recorded, among them:

Iton semamora

Pseudocoladenia dan


Tagiades parra - a new species for me

Celaenorrhinus vietnamicus
 Closely related to C. aurivittata aurivittata (Moore, 1879) and differs externally in darker ground colour, lighter yellow forewing band, without any trace of orange, and detached apical spot in space 6 (Devyatkin, 1998). Recorded from southern China to central Vietnam. Holotype from northern Vietnam (Ba Vi National Park). 


Notocrypta paralysos asawa


Halpe sp
This is either H. zola or H. zema, the two species look very similar externally. I am not really convinced by some clinching identification features based on color pattern I found here and there. Just hope that the genitalia examination is not the only solution to separate them.

This report wouldn't be complete without some mention of some other fascinating creatures encountered like this restricted range Atrocalopteryx coomani (female), waiting for Prince Charming (I saw none, poor dear):


Or this stunning Phrynarachne sp. crab spider waiting for lunch:

Phrynarachne spp. (Thomisidae) look somewhat like bird dung,
thus they are commonly known as Bird-dung Crab Spiders, or Bird-dropping Crab Spiders

It was a memorable and enjoyable trip for me. I did manage to spot a fair few new species for my records. I am hopeful that there are at least 300 butterfly species that reside here and I hope to record many more throughout the coming years. Ba Vi is a great place for butt hunting close to Hanoi and should be visited if you are in the area.