Tuesday, 18 October 2016

208. Taraka hamada mendesia (The Forest Pierrot)

Number: 208
Family: Lycaeniidae
Sub-Family: Miletiinae
Species: Taraka hamada mendesia Fruhstorfer, 1918
Common name(s): The Forest Pierrot
Photography location: Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

In Vietnam, the Miletinae subfamily is represented by five genera - Allotinus, Logania, Spalgis, Miletus and Taraka. This subfamily is unique in the sense that their caterpillars are predatory or "carnivorous" (preys are mostly Homoptera: aphids, coccids, mealy bugs) whilst it is generally well-known that most butterflies caterpillars are "herbivorous".

Taraka hamada looks similar to the Common Pierrot (Castalius rosimon) at first glance but you would notice that the spotting pattern is quite different in detail. And notice the unusually fluffy legs.

Taraka hamada mendesia, Tam Dao (900m asl), bamboo forest, 16th Sept. 2016

207. Matapa aria/druna

Number: 207
Family: Hesperiidae
Sub-Family : Hesperiinae
Species: Matapa aria or M. druna
Common name(s): 
Photography location: Foothills of Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

According to Monastyrskii  & Devyatkin (2016), 4 species of Matapa are recorded from Vietnam: cresta, aria, druna and sasivarna.
M. druna can be easily confused with M. aria, but the male of the former has a large & curved grey brand whereas it is narrow in aria
From the shot below, I am unable to come to a firm identification.

Matapa aria/druna, lower slopes of Tam Dao, 18th Sept. 2016
Despite low-light conditions, this photo was taken without a flash in order not to alter the color of the subject.

206. Gerosis sinica narada (The White Yellow-breasted Flat)

Number: 206
Family: Hesperiidae
Sub-Family : Pyrgiinae
Species: Gerosis sinica narada (Moore,1884)
Common name(s):The White Yellow-breasted Flat
Photography location: Tam Dao (Vinh Phuc Prov.)

According to Monastyrskii  & Devyatkin (2016), 5 species of Gerosis are known from Vietnam: G. sinica narada, G. phisara phisara, G. bhagava bhagava, G. limax dirae, G. tristis gaudialis. Only sinica and phisara are recorded from the North of the country.
Gerosis sinica narada ranges from Sikkim to Myanmar, N.Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China.

Strolling slowly and enjoying the morning breeze without taking any shot for close to an hour, I finally spotted this Gerosis sinica narada resting beneath a leaf above my head. It was tame but not the kind of perch any photographer would like to shoot. Tam Dao (900m asl), 16th Sept. 2016