09 June 2010


Autumn was here. Well, at least not literally.

I saw this male Autumn Leaf butterfly sipping nutrients at a gap between granite pavers at the Floral Walk walkway.I am certain it is a male because only males puddle on seepages etc to absorb essential nutrients from these the surfaces.

These Autumn Leaf butterflies are a constant at HortPark since they have so many host plants planted in the area, including the Pseuderanthemum shrubs, Graptophyllum pictum shrubs, Justicia brandegeeana etc.

When it doesn't open up its wings and perch on any surfaces, it does look like a leaf. Most of the time, it stays this way to camouflage itself against the vegetation etc to avoid predation. The caterpillars are very interesting in having a blackish body with blue and orange knob-like protrusions along its length. When it flaps its wings, like when I touched it to get it to open up, you can get a glimpse of how pretty it looks. For this particular male butterfly, the upperside revealed a nice orange that occupied most of its surface with a large black arched patch near the upper wing tip and several black spots on its lower wings. I wonder how the female looks like?