Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sarawak: Borneo Highlands - Butterflies, Spiders and Flowers

Though I go to Borneo Highlands primarily for its birds, there are certainly other things there to keep a naturalist occupied -- especially later in the morning when the birds fall silent. Here are a few of them, taken after the official declaration of the site as an Important Bird Area last May (see my previous post).

A flowering shrub at the edge of the overlook seemed particularly attractive to butterflies of the genus Delias, colloquially known as jezebels. I photographed three different species visiting its blossoms in the space of a few minutes. Jezebels are unusually colourful members of the Pieridae, the white and sulphur family; most of their relatives are monotone white or yellow, with touches of black or charcoal grey. The genus ranges from southern Asia to Australia. This one is Delias ninus parthenia, the Malayan jezebel.

This is an apparently uncommon Bornean highland endemic, Delias eumolpe.  There are two subspecies; I believe this to be Delias eumolpe eumolpe.

And finally, here is a painted jezebel (Delias hyparete diva), the Bornean race of a widespread southeast Asian species.

In the same bush was this Malay lacewing (Cethosia hypsea hypsina), one of the most attractive of the local Nymphalidae (brush-footed butterflies).

The giant orb spiders of the genus Nephila, if perhaps less winning than the butterflies, are always impressive.Nephila spiders range throughout the warmer parts of the world, giving the unwary a start wherever they occur.

To finish, a few attractive plants that I would love to identify, but can't....

Including this cluster of epiphytic lichens and ferns...

These, too, are epiphytic ferns.

And this odd-looking structure is the inflorescence of an underground ginger, perhaps one of the large genus Etlingera - touch of colour on the forest floor.

In my next post, I will show you some of the creatures that you can find at Borneo Highlands after dark.

1 comment:

  1. hello interesting photo what you show thanks