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Friday, March 20, 2009

Malaysia’s Butterfly - The Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus malayanus)

A species commonly seen in areas where lime tree or citrus plants are found growing in the wild or cultivated, comes as no surprise as the food plant of the caterpillar is the lime tree and Citrus plant leaves, so much so it is regarded as a pest where these citrus plants are cultivated. With a fast erratic flight it is a capable flyer.

The butterfly has two unique and distinct round spot at the hind wing complimented with flowery yellow wing markings on the upper sides.
I have observed that the lime butterfly are usually not active in the early morning, preferring to perched with its wing wide open till it becomes warmer, than it becomes hyperactive, fluttering around stopping only briefly to feed on flower nectar with its long proboscis.

The phenomenon that the Lime Butterfly appears to be more common than normal during the Lunar New Year celebrations, due to the traditional practice of keeping Citrus plants with the orange fruits ripened, as symbols of wealth and prosperity during the celebration has some truth in it. I seem to encounter more lime butterflies during this period.


Barb Mcgovern said...

You visited my blog last July and compared American gardens with those of your country. I love the pictures of the butterflies and comments. I think you are doing a great job on your blog. I love seeing nature in your country & mine.
Barbara (McGovern Gang)

Tung Kin Foong said...

Thank you for the kind words, it certainly is nice to know that there are regular visitors to my blog.