05 June 2010


I passed by this area last week and the large stands of Caesalpinia pulcherrima (Peacock Flower) attracted quite a number of butterflies there to pick up nectar. This morning, I passed by this area again and the usual butterflies were still there.

Last week, I saw 3 Lime Butterflies, a number of Common Grass Yellows, a few Mottled Emigrants and Chocolate Soldiers. Today I saw only a single Lime Butterfly, the usual abundant Common Grass Yellows, some Mottled Emigrants and at least 3 Chocolate Soldiers. It was interesting to see them circling each other at times, as part of the courtship ritual. Different species were sometimes seen chasing each other, but split when their contact was so close that they probably realised they are of a different species and are hence incompatible for mating.

But I hate to take photos of butterflies in the open because it really tests your patience. Frankly, the Lime Butterfly is one of my favourites and I sometimes see them around my plants at home. However, you can see how my photos turned out when I tried to capture it on my camera last week. How exasperating that can be!

Anyway, luckily this morning, I was able to take a photo of a single Chocolate Soldier that landed on the leaf of a Hymenocallis speciosa (Spiderlily).

So my conclusion to this is plant more Peacock Flowers everywhere because they are a staple source of nectar for quite a number of urban butterflies and they are the very important host plants of some of these butterflies e.g. Common Grass Yellow.