Sunday, July 22, 2012

Local butterflying!

Hey everybody, I had been off for sometime, as you would have noticed. I'm back and I'm back for good, will continue posting as regularly as I come up with things to talk about.
Hope butterflying is going good!

It has been a long time since I have had the time to go out long distances for butterfly watching. But local watching has been going on always. It has been quite cloudy in Bangalore since the past few days, makes the city more charming for the people in it, but not the same for the butterflies. Whenever there is a little sunshine, they make the most of it and flaunt their colours for enthusiasts like me to see. Endlessly chased them for pictures, but made really bad ones due to deficient light. Hence, I decided to let my camera rest for a while so that my observation skills are put to test.

There are so many things to observe about territorial marking behaviour among the Pansies. The Yellow Pansy, as I have observed, chases away any other mid-sized butterflies that enter its territory. It is observed more in the male butterfly than the female. As a swift flier, the Yellow pansy can easily "attack" another butterfly by darting towards it. Hence, the butterfly sets up a "perimeter" for itself and maintains its reign.
Many a times, making pictures might not be possible. Or, we might make bad photographs which end up useless. At those times, field notes come in handy. A simple sketch can convey a LOT of things a good or bad image cannot. A simple note can help us remember what the camera cannot. Behavioural aspects of insects or animals can be best documented by notes and sketches.

I don't intend to say that a sketch is always meant to be a substitute when photography seems impossible. A photograph may not do justice to all aspects of the subject, and hence, a note/ sketch will definitely help. Field notes is a very good habit to keep. Here is my note about the Yellow Pansy! 

Another butterfly I happened to see recently, is the Blue Mormon. Papilo polymnestor. This butterfly is usually seen as a lonely flyer. Rarely do we see it in groups: while mudpuddling, for instance. Mudpuddling is the process wherein the butterflies suck up certain salts from moist soil, using their proboscis. These salts are necessary for the male butterflies, as it helps in the formation of certain pheromones in order to attract the females for mating. Many a times, we observe a large group of swallowtail butterflies on moist soil, and Blue Mormons are some among them. This butterfly feeds on citrus species in its larval stage, and is more common in hilly regions. Thanks to the beautiful blue shade and the graceful slow flying, any butterfly watcher will be happy to see this butterfly for as long as possible. Here is my sketch of a Blue Mormon!

A common visitor to our nearby gardens, a high-flyer in comparitively wooded places. This butterfly happens to stray into the wrong places too many times, I have observed. Often have I seen this butterfly getting caught in road accidents. If anyone wants to watch this butterfly continuously for hours together, the best place in Bangalore would be Hebbal lake.


  1. Awesome sketches and well said about the field notes...

  2. Thanks a lot, really good to see responses. :) Keep them coming and happy butterflying! :)