Sunday, 5 March 2017

Seeing Tropical Butterflies

Being a rather reluctant air traveller, I am unlikely ever to see tropical butterfly species in the wild and so I am an enthusiastic visitor to the 'Butterflies in the Glasshouse' exhibition held annually at RHS Wisley during January and February. Getting some unseasonal butterfly therapy is a great way to spend a cold and damp winter's day. Although perhaps not for the butterfly purist, I find it to be a good opportunity to see these exotic creatures and to try to build up a basic knowledge of species from around the globe.
Positive indentification within some groups can be tricky, particularly within butterfly house populations where breeding between different subspecies can be confusing. Some species display a huge range of subspecies and mimics and it is quite possible that one or two of my identifications may be incorrect.
Some species that are commonly found in butterfly houses can have several different English names and so Latin names are always more reliable.
Great Yellow Mormon (Papilio lowi) (female)
Common Mormon (Papilio polytes) (male)
Common Mormon (P.polytes) (female)
Paris Peacock (Papilio paris)
Longwing sp. (Heliconius doris
Longwing sp. (Heliconius hecale)
Longwing sp. (Heliconius numata)
Common Postman (Heliconius melpomene)
Longwing sp. (Heliconius antiochus)
Automedon Giant Owl (Eryphanis automedon)
Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides)
Blue-banded Morpho (Morpho achilles)

One-spotted Prepona (Archeoprepona demophon)

Great Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina)

Indian Leafwing (Kallima paralekta)

Clipper (Parthenos sylvia violacea)

Zebra Mosaic (Colobura dirce)


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