Sunday, 22 May 2016

171. Melanitis phedima (The Dark Evening Brown).

Number: 171
Family: Nymphaliidae
Sub-Family: Satyriinae
Species: Melanitis phedima (Cramer, 1780)
Common name(s): The Dark Evening Brown
Photography locations: Cuc Phuong N.P. (Ninh Binh Prov.), Ba Vi N.P. (Hanoi), Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

The genus Melanitis comprises of 12 species, commonly known as Evening Browns. They usually fly at dawn and shortly before dusk and are not normally seen during the day, except when disturbed.
Three Melanitis species are recorded from Vietnam viz. M. leda, M. phedima & M. zitenius.

Melanitis phedima, photographed in natural light - Ba Vi, April 2017
Melanitis species love very dark places. This made photography without flash very difficult. With flash, it can really alter their appearance

A nother specimen photographed in natural light, from Tam Dao, June 2016

Voucher male specimen from Cuc Phuong, upperside
Identification from the underside alone is unreliable - phedima can only be reliably identified from the dorsal surface, which is much darker than in leda

Same specimen, underside

Another specimen, from Mount Ba Vi, December 2016

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