Tuesday, 24 November 2015

152. Elymnias hypermnestra tonkiniana (The Common Palmfly)

Number: 152
Family: Nymphaliidae
Sub-Family: Satyriinae
Species: Elymnias hypermnestra tonkiniana Fruhstorfer, [1902]
Common name(s): The Common Palmfly
Photography locations: Hanoi City, Ba Vi N.P. (Hanoi)

According to Monastyrskii & Devyatkin (2016), 9 Elymnias species are known to occur in Vietnam viz. hypermnestra, patna, nesaea, malelas, saueri, saola, miyagawai, penanga and vasudeva - the first one being the most common and widespread.

Elymnias hypermnestra is represented in Vietnam by 3 subspecies: tonkiniana (N. & C.), meridionalis (C. & S.) and robinsona (Con Son Is./S.) - the last one described in 2003.

Elymnias hypermnestra is a rather common species with broad habitat tolerance. Typically the adults are shade-loving, and usually sighted flying along the edge of vegetated area and in the vicinity of a clump of palm trees. The early stages of the Common Palmfly feed on the leaves of a number of host plants in the Arecaceae (Palmae) family.
Not the easiest butterfly to photograph. Adults are always very alert and  take flight at the slightest disturbance.

Elymnias hypermnestra tonkiniana, Hanoi, June 2016

On the underside both sexes are brown, finely marbled with reddish, and with a smudge of whitish scales near the apex of the forewing. On the hindwing there is usually a white spot just beyond the discal cell, but this varies in size from one individual to another.

Another individual, from Ba Vi foothills (January 2016)

Elymnias hypermnestra tonkiniana, voucher specimen, upperside
Boxes sexes of subsp. tonkiniana are rather similar (Up blackish brown. FW with a subterminal series of blue spots - mimic Euploea species), whereas they show different color pattern in subsp. meridionalis and robinsona (female with orange or reddish area on UpF - mimic Danaus species)

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Utetheisa sp.

Family: Arctiidae
Sub-Family: Arctiinae
Species: Utetheisa sp.
Common name(s): 
Photography location: Hanoi

Stunning Utetheisa moth, possibly the Heliotrope moth (U. pulcheloides) I don't actually know.
Photographed during the day, in a sandy grassland with patches of the legume shrub Crotalaria pallida. (host plant)

 Crotalaria pallida (Fabaceae family)
Common in disturbed sites such as pastures, waste ground, roadsides