Friday, February 22, 2013

Blue Pansy Butterfly

Junonia orithya is a nymphalid butterfly with many subspecies occurring from Africa, through southern and south-eastern Asia, and in Australia. In India its common English name is the Blue Pansy, but in southern Africa it is known as the Eyed Pansy as the name Blue Pansy refers to Junonia oenone.In Australia this butterfly is known as the Blue Argus.

Junonia orithya is a nymphalid butterfly with many subspecies occurring from Africa, through southern and south-eastern Asia, and in Australia. In India its common English name is the Blue Pansy, but in southern Africa it is known as the Eyed Pansy as the name Blue Pansy refers to Junonia oenone. In Australia this butterfly is known as the Blue Argus.

    The withered tip of the host plants branch makes

a good disguise for the caterpillar.  

        Male upperside : somewhat more than half the fore wing from base velvety black, apical half dull fuliginous ; cell-area with or without two short transverse orange bars ; a blue patch above, the tornus; the outer margin of the basal black area obliquely zigzag in a line from the middle of costa to apex of vein 2, including a large discal, generally obscure ocellus, which, however, in some specimens is prominently ringed with orange-yellow. Beyond this a broad while irregularly oblique discal band followed by a short oblique preapical bar frm costa ; a small black orange-ringed ocellus beneath the bar, a subterminal continuous line of white spots in the interspaces and a terminal jet-black slender line; cilia alternately dusky black and white. Hind wing blue shaded with velvety black towards base; a postdiscal black white-centred orange and black-ringed ocellus in interspace 2, a round minutely white-centred velvety black spot (sometimes entirely absent) in interspace 5; the termen narrowly white, traversed by an inner and an outer subterminal and a terminal black line ; cilia white.                                                                                                                                             
        Female. Similar, with similar but larger and more clearly defined ocelli and markings ; the basal half of the fore and hind wings on the upper-side fuliginous brown, scarcely any trace of blue on the hind wing. Antennae brown, head reddish brown, thorax and abdomen above brownish black: palpi, thorax and abdomen beneath dull white.


Host plants

    These are some of the host plants based on my own observations.


Above photo is Stachytarpheta jamaicensis it's a species of plant in the Verbenaceae family. Native throughout the Caribbean, the species is commonly known as blue porterweed or Jamaica vervain. It is pantropical, being found in the Indian Subcontinent, Southeastern Asia and West Tropical Africa, where it is known as Indian Snakeweed and Nettle-leaved vervain, formerly thought to be a separate species (Stachytarpheta indica). It is usually found along country roadsides and it grows also well as a ruderal plant on disturbed terrain. It is an invasive species in some places.
This plant can be also found on St. Croix, where it is locally known as "worrywine".



      The egg is barely 1mm in diameter.



"Head and body of a very dark shining black shading into brown......head on a short neck, latter of an orange colour for a short distance; caudal extremity also tipped with orange. Body covered with perpendicular spines armed with strong radial hairs.....Head bifurcated, reddish spot in centre of face, a small spinous process in the angle of each eye."











"suspended by tail, naked; wing-covers of a muddy yellow ; rest of body of a purplish colour variegated by lines of a dull creamy white. Slight projections of an angular nature along abdomen."






The adults occur in open areas, often sitting on bare ground. This species has a stiff flap and glide style of flight and maintains a territory, driving away other butterflies that enter it.


Common Leopard Butterfly

The Common Leopard Phalanta phalantha is a sun-loving butterfly of the Nymphalid or Brush-footed Butterfly family.

        The Common Leopard is a medium-sized butterfly with a wingspan of 50–55 mm with a tawny colour and marked with black spots. The underside of the butterfly is more glossy than the upper and both the male and female are similar looking. A more prominent purple gloss on the underside is found in the dry season form of this butterfly.




Distribution and subspecies

The butterfly is found in Sub-saharan Africa and Southern Asia (including Sri Lanka and Burma) in a number of subspecies.
  • Phalanta phalantha phalantha
  • Phalanta phalantha luzonica Fruhstofer (Philippines)
  • Phalanta phalantha columbina (Cramer) (southern China, Hainan and possibly Taiwan)
  • Phalanta phalantha araca (Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914) (Darwin)
  • Phalanta phalantha aethiopica (Rothschild & Jordan, 1903) (Madagascar, Seychelles, Aldabra, Comoro, Tropical Africa)
  • Phalanta phalantha granti (Rothschild & Jordan, 1903) (Socotra Island)

A caterpillar on its second instar beside a pupa.


The Caterpillar on its last instar.


Sun loving and avoids shade. Seen in the plains, gardens and edges of clearings. Has active and sharp flight movements. Visits flowers regularly especially Lantana, Duranta, Meyenia laxiflora, Gymnosporia montana and thistles. Often seen mudpuddling from damp patches in the ground, either alone or in groups. A regular basker with wings spread wide open. It is commonest in dry areas and dry weather and absent from the wetter parts of India during the monsoon. It often perches on edges of clearing with wings half open and has the habit of chasing away other butterflies and guarding its territory.               

    An adult Common Leopard

Larval host plant

        This is the hostplant of  Common Leopard Butterfly Larva. It  is locally called Serralis. A very delicious wild plum and there's plenty of this around Pueblo de Panay forest. I took this picture last February 18, 2013 while on the way home. This fruit attracts many wild animals such as birds, reptiles and some mammals.

A small to medium-sized tree and the ripe fruits are very tasty, reminiscent of a small apple and sometimes tastes like grapes.
It is a usually found in dry types of woodland and it grows to 6 m tall. In moister types of open woodland it reaches its maximum height  of about 8–9 metres. It is a rather straggly tree, with sharp, 3–6 cm long branched spines in from the stem down to the trunk. Buds at the base of the spine produce clusters of alternately arranged simple ovate leaves 3–6 cm long.
The flowers are inconspicuous, solitary or clustered, with no petals. It is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, though some female plants are parthenogenetic.
The fruit is an edible bright yellowish to purple globose berry 2.5–4 cm diameter, with the skin and flesh of a uniform colour and containing several small seeds. Production is often copious, weighing down the branches during the summer. They are juicy, tasty and acidic.

Puzzling Nature I

    One of the most difficult subjects in photography is Wildlife. A photographer cannot tell a wild animal to pose like this or like that. If your not lucky enough, prepare to either get hurt or worst get killed..
    One  thing I like most in wildlife photography is the never ending chain of surprises and puzzling discoveries of how nature do its thing. In this post I will unveil and unlock one of nature's wonder you may have never thought to exist.

A Moth Caterpillar nursing some cocoons?

    What if somebody will tell you of a

caterpillar that becomes a cocoon and

after several days a moth comes out of

a cocoon?  Would you believe? Of

course you'll do.  It's very normal even

though you may not really understand

what is happening in between stages of

a metamorphosis.

   What if you did not see this post and somebody

tells you about a caterpillar that's nursing some

cocoons? I'm sure you'll say its crazy.

    But if somebody from Pueblo de Panay tells you

of a caterpillar that's nursing some cocoons and

shows you these pictures maybe you'll think twice

that is, if you're a science buff .

          Now I'll tell you of a caterpillar I found at Pueblo de Panay that looks as if it was nursing some cocoons:
           In fact there are some parasitic wasps residing at Pueblo de Panay that capture any kind of caterpillar they handle and prick in it with a paralyzing toxin enough to immobilize but cannot kill it. The wasps then stick the caterpillar on their cocoons .It would be a bad end then for the caterpillar because by the time the wasps' larvae emerge from the cocoon, they will have a ready to eat sustenance.
          What an awful way to die. But that's how nature do its thing.' Nature rules', as they say.

          Better believe me.
          I've been there.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pueblo Wild Flowers

My daughter loves flowers specially wild uncultured ones and she has a keen eye on spotting it and capturing its inherent beauty then shows it to us in a whole new perspective.

 " keep parts of your garden untilled so that grass and wild flowers may come up on their own and talk to us of God."
  - St. Francis of Assisi , Patron Saint of Ecology
Flower of a White Hog  vine.

Pink Plumed Cockscomb

Wild Creeping Daisy

Mimosa is a genus of about 400 species of herbs and shrubs, in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the legume family Fabaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek word μιμος (mimos), meaning "mimic."
There are two species in the genus that are notable. One is Mimosa pudica, because of the way it folds its leaves when touched or exposed to heat. It is native to southern Central and South America but is widely cultivated elsewhere for its curiosity value, both as a houseplant in temperate areas, and outdoors in the tropics. Outdoor cultivation has led to weedy invasion in some areas, notably Hawaii. The other is Mimosa tenuiflora, which is best known for its use in shamanic ayahuasca brews due to the psychedelic drug dimethyltryptamine found in its root bark


The taxonomy of the genus Mimosa has had a tortuous history, having gone through periods of splitting and lumping, ultimately accumulating over 3,000 names, many of which have either been synonymized under other species or transferred to other genera. In part due to these changing circumscriptions, the name "Mimosa" has also been applied to several other related species with similar pinnate or bipinnate leaves, but are now classified in other genera, most commonly to Albizia julibrissin (silk tree) and Acacia dealbata (wattle).


                                                                      Coat Button Flower

 Wild bush with Cotton Stainer bugs.

Pinto Peanut
     Actually Pinto peanut is not a wild flower it is an introduced species of ornamental plant, planted at the center island of the 6 lanes main road of Pueblo de Panay.

 Lantana Camara

Lantana camara, also known as Spanish Flag or West Indian Lantana or LAVA, is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, that is native to the American tropics. It has been introduced into other parts of the world as an ornamental plant and is considered an invasive species in many tropical and sub-tropical areas.
L. camara is sometimes known as "Red (Yellow, Wild) Sage", despite its classification in a separate family from sage (Lamiaceae), and a different order from sagebrush (Asterales).


West Indian Lantana has been reported to make animals ill after ingestion.The pentacyclic triterpenoids its foliage contains cause hepatotoxicity and photosensitivity in grazing animals such as sheep, goats, bovines, and horses. Livestock foraging on the plant has led to widespread losses in the United States, South Africa, India, Mexico, and Australia. The berries are edible when ripe Ingestion of L. camara (including unripe berries) is not associated with significant human toxicity. Nevertheless, Teuscher, Lindequist states that the symptoms of its poisoning are similar to Atropa belladonna's one.

L. camara is an invasive species and has covered large areas in India, Australia and much of Africa. It colonizes new areas when its seeds are dispersed by birds. Once it reaches an area, L. camara spreads quickly. It coppices so well, that efforts to eradicate it have completely failed. It is resistant to fire, and quickly grows in and colonizes burnt areas. It has become a serious obstacle to the natural regeneration of important native species including the Saal Tree (Shorea robusta) in Southeast Asia, as well as plants in 22 other countries. In greenhouses, L. camara is notorious for attracting whitefly. In India they bear fruit all year round and this appears to have an impact on bird communities.
While considered a pest in Australia, it shelters several native marsupial species from predators, and offers a habitat for the vulnerable Exoneura native bee, which nests in the hollow stems of the plant.
L. camara has been listed as a Category One "Invasive Toxic Species" in Florida by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, and has become a problem in Texas and Hawaii.


Some communities have found alternate uses for West Indian Lantana, as it is difficult to eradicate. Some household furniture, such as tables and chairs are made from the stalks, or the small branches are bundled together to make brooms.


The methanolic extract of Lantana camara leaves shown healing of gastric ulcers and also prevents development of duodenal ulcers in rats. Extracts of the fresh leaves are antibacterial and are traditionally used in Brazil as an antipyretic, carminative and in the treatment of respiratory system infections


West Indian Lantana has become popular in gardens for its hardy nature. It is not affected by pests or disease, has low water requirements, and is tolerant of extreme heat. It is a favorite species of butterflies, and used in butterfly gardens in the United States. Wild species may have short, hooked prickles. Lantana cultivars favored as ornamentals tend to have small herbaceous stems.
Examples of cultivated varieties include 'Bandana'.

 Golden Candle Bush

     This plant attracts or a hostplant of several butterflies like African Migrant, Grass Yellow, Emerald Emigrant, Cloudy Sulphor, Mottled Sulphur and Cloudless Sulphur.

Senna alata, the Golden Candle Bush, is an important medicinal tree as well as an ornamental flowering plants in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It also known as a Candelabra Bush, Empress Candle Plant, Ringworm Tree or "candletree". A remarkable species of Senna, it was sometimes separated in its own genus, Herpetica
Senna alata is native to Mexico, and can be found in diverse habitats. In the tropics it grows up to an altitude of 1,200 meters. It is an invasive species in Austronesia. In Sri Lanka this is use an ingredient of Sinhala traditional medicine.
The shrub stands 3–4 m tall, with leaves 50–80 cm long. The inflorescence looks like a yellow candle. The fruit shaped like a straight pod is up to 25 cm long. Its seed are distributed by water or animals. The leaves close in the dark.

The flower with a Clouldy Sulphur Butterfly Caterpillar.

An unknown wild bush.

Mexican Creeper / Cadena de Amor

 Antigonon leptopus, commonly known as Mexican Creeper, coral vine or San Miguelito Vine, is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae, it is a perrenial, that is native to Mexico. It is a vine with pink or white flowers.

Invasive species

It is listed as a category II invasive exotic by the Florida's pest plant council.


Antigonon leptopus is a fast growing climbing vine that holds via tendrils, and is able to reach 25ft or more in length. It has cordate (heart shaped), sometimes triangular leaves 2½ to 7½ cm long the flowers are borne in panicles, clusted along the rachis producing pink or white flowers from spring to autumn, it forms underground tubers and large rootstocks, it is a prolific seed producer, the seeds float on water, the fruit and seeds are eaten and spread by a wide range of animals such as pigs, raccoons and birds. The tubers will resprout if it is cut back or damaged by frost.

This is another ornamental flower planted at the center island of PdP highway.

An unknown wild vine.

The following are flowers planted at the Pueblo de Panay Shrine  flower garden.

Purple Cockscomb Flower