Saturday, December 3, 2011

Autumn Leaf Butterfly (Doleschallia bisaltide)

It's amazing how many ways evolution has made various animals resemble dead leaves.

Hey ya'll 

Also known as the Autumn leaf butterfly (for its obvious resemblance to a small, dried leaf, Doleschallia bisaltide is a medium sized butterfly associated with the charaxinae group of butterflies that are known for their zipping and strong flight. Although I have encountered many of these butterflies in the wild (they are easily attracted by leaving out rotting and fermenting fruit on the forest floor) I must say this is the first time I've had the joy of raising one in captivity, although... to use the word "raising" would be a little bit far-fetched considering how I actually found this lovely creature as a pupa hanging from a birds-nest fern (strange, considering the larvae feed on the plant of the acanthacea genus). Eitherway, the pupa suffered several dents in its abdominal region and I was worried as to whether the butterfly would have survived or not. Apparently they are as much troopers in the dormant stage of their lives as they are as adults (it's near impossible to catch one of these butterflies and even when one has gotten a hold of them in one's fingers, the flight muscles are so strong that they are sometimes able to slip free with one strong burst of energy) because earlier this morning, a healthy and strong butterfly was born. 

All in all, Doleschallia bisaltide is a rather attractive species of butterfly, the uppersides of its wings boast striking hues of orange and yellow, set against a background of deep black. But really, it is the underside of the butterfly's wings which are most interesting (in my opinion) as they resemble dried leaves rather closely, punctuated only perhaps by the two ocelli on its lower wing. In fact, the patterns on the underside of this particular species of butterflies is so variable that it is said by many lepidopterists that no two specimens are ever alike in this regard which is something I can attest to from my experiences alone. 

Anyway, I am also awaiting the birth of several babies right now, the eggs of the Malayan Zebra (Graphium delessertii), and I am hoping that their turning a deep shade of brown is more a sign that the time for their arrival is near as opposed to death by fungal infection. Wish us luck!


Baby don't you know that everybody watches, every time that you take flight. They're blinded by your light.


ooi2009 said...

its so refreshing

darkpoet said...

That looks amazing! :D

Just wondering, if you've noticed, how long does an Autumn Leaf Butterfly take for it to fly after newly emerging from its chrysalis?