Monday, 10 August 2015

88. Arhopala cf. bazalus teesta (The Powdered Oakblue)

Number: 88
Family: Lycaeniidae
Sub-Family: Thecliinae
Species: Arhopala cf. bazalus teesta (de Nicéville, 1886) 
Common name(s): The Powdered Oakblue
Photography location: Cuc Phuong N.P. (Ninh Binh Prov.), Hanoi

Monastyrskii & Devyatkin (2016) listed 53 Arhopala species recorded in Vietnam, the great majority from the South and central regions. Only 9 are recorded in the North: A. centaurus nakula, A. dispar dispar, A. perimuta perimuta, A. elopura dama, A. bazalus teesta, A. eumolphus eumolphus, A. birmana birmana, A. paraganesa zephyretta and A. ammonides ammonides.
Members of this genus are extremely challenging to identify from field shots alone.

The specimens below belong to the eumolphus group (hindwing postdiscal spots 6 & 7 have the outer margin deeply notched). I am not 100% sure it is A. bazalus.

I encountered this male as I hiked along shady trails through untouched natural forest, in Cuc Phuong N.P.. Note the dirty appearance of the hindwing tornal area.

Another specimen photographed mid-August 2016 in Hanoi, close to the city center, in a shrubby area.
Never thought I'd see Arhopala species in such a place!

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