Category: butterfly


Why to go Valley School ?

I have more than 100 visits of Valley School, Kanakapura Road, Bangalore but never get bored off with the place. It still have a lot to offer. Its one of the best places when you want to rest yourself.

Initial days, I used to rush at this place to cover maximum ground. But now, I just visit the place to have some birding and lot of calmness. Here are some of the snaps of the place and some of the birds, some of the butterflies around.

Oriental White Eye

Oriental White Eye

Common Gull

Common Gull

Grey Francolin

Grey Francolin

Oriental White Eye searching the nest

Oriental White Eye searching the nest

Tawny Coaster

Tawny Coaster

Orange Tip

Orange Tip

Lemon Pansy

Lemon Pansy

Common Sailer

Common Sailer

Lemon Pansy

Lemon Pansy

Red Tip in Valley School

Red Tip in Valley School

Jerdon's Bushlark in Valley School

Jerdon’s Bushlark in Valley School

Pea Blue in Valley School

Pea Blue in Valley School

Common Gull in Valley School

Common Gull in Valley School

Lalbagh being in the center of the City, it is quite accessible and always crowded. Even Government is trying to increase the ticket costs and the current cost is:

1. Person Entry : 10 Rs.

2. Camera Entry: 50 Rs.

No fees, before 9 AM and after 6 PM. Camera case is quite ambiguous before 9 AM and after 6 PM.

Now, what to do in Lalbagh. First of all, its a botanical garden and if you are not interested in plants, trees, lakes, birds, flowers, its merely a place to sit and talk.

1. Enjoy Flowers. It has a rose garden and other flowers like Dahlia, Cosmos will be available in the summers.

You can enjoy some of the blogs on flowers day.

Pink Rose

Pink Rose

White Rose in Lalbagh

White Rose in Lalbagh

Red Rose in Lalbagh

Red Rose in Lalbagh

Pink Rose collection in Lalbagh

Pink Rose collection in Lalbagh

Flowers at Lalbagh

Flowers at Lalbagh

2. Enjoy Hunting – Its a very rich place with lot of fishes. So, you can often see a good killing/hunting scene around it. Snakes, Pelicans, Kites, Cormorants are often can be seen in action.

Checkered keelback water snake with a Kill at Lalbagh

Checkered keelback water snake with a Kill at Lalbagh

Checkered keelback water snake with a Kill at Lalbagh

Checkered keelback water snake with a Kill at Lalbagh

Keelback Snake gulping a big fish at Lalbagh

Keelback Snake gulping a big fish at Lalbagh

3. Enjoy Birding:

A Spot-billed Pelican flying

A Spot-billed Pelican flying

Pond Heron with a kill

Pond Heron with a kill

4. Enjoy Nature/Photo shoot – Its a great place to witness sunrise, sunset and the transformed clouds. Provides all kind of background for good photo shoot.

Sunset in Lalbagh

Sunset in Lalbagh

A beautiful view of the lake

A beautiful view of the lake

5. Butterflies – If you are interested in shooting butterflies or gaining knowledge about it. Great place again !!

Common Yellow Grass on Dahlia

Common Yellow Grass on Dahlia

Green Tailed Jay on Dhalia  flower

Green Tailed Jay on Dahlia flower

Have Fun, Do Visit. Highest no. of people use it for running/jogging/walking and worth a place to do exercise. It provide one of the coolest stretch to do so.

Do, drop us your comments and anytime you want to join us for Lalbagh trail.

The art of deception

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  And everyone deserves a little sunshine.  ~Jeffrey Glassberg

I am at loss of words to describe the beauty of butterflies. The intricate wing patterns with amazing color combinations will definitely be an inspiration to artists and designers. How often have you wished to be a butterfly flying from flower to flower leading a carefree life? But it is not easy to be a butterfly as it has its own challenges, like protecting itself from its predators. To overcome this challenge some butterflies  have mastered the art of deception.

common

Crimson rose – Unpalatable butterfly

As a protection strategy some poisonous butterflies like the Common Rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae) and the Crimson Rose (Pachliopta hector) are brightly colored. The bright coloration warns the predators that these butterflies are unpalatable.  These butterflies have a slow flight as they are not attacked by predators.

Now how do other butterflies which are non poisonous protect themselves?

  • Rapid flight with  iridescent wings  to dodge predators
  • Camouflage in the surroundings they are found
  • Eyespots and tails are found in some  butterflies and which divert the attention of predators from the more vital head region.
  • Mimicking  the wing patterns of toxic butterflies, a phenomenon known as Batesian mimicry
commoncr

Crimson Rose (poisonous ) avoided by predators

romulus

Common Mormon(non poisonous ) mimicking the wing pattern of the Crimson rose

“Some female Common Mormons look similar to the male, but others mimic the color patterns of two unrelated species the Common Rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae) and the Crimson Rose (Pachliopta hector). It is interesting that males in this species are always non-mimetic and females may be mimetic. It could be due to the reason that females carry eggs and therefore their abdomens are much heavier compared to males, making them slower in flight and therefore easier prey for birds. This special vulnerability to predation makes females more dependent on mimicry for their survival compared to males. Females have a particular advantage if they mimic locally common toxic Rose butterflies.”-  Krushnamegh Kunte.

Common rose

Common Rose (poisonous )

cm4

Common mormon (non poisonous) mimicking the  Crimson Rose

A single gene regulates the complex wing patterns, colors and structures required for mimicry in swallowtail butterflies, according to a study led by scientists from the National Center for Biological Sciences, India, and the University of Chicago, USA. The work published in Nature  redefines the mimicry supergene in this butterfly: for over half a century biologists believed it to be a cluster of tightly-linked genes, but the current study shows that it is a single gene. “Our study throws new light on the intriguing genetic basis of wing patterning in a butterfly that mimics others,” said Dr. Krushnamegh Kunte, Reader (Assistant Professor) and Ramanujan Fellow at NCBS and the lead author of the paper.

“The co-option of this well-known sexual differentiation gene in controlling polymorphic mimicry is indeed an unexpected and exciting discovery. doublesex is a highly conserved and well-characterized gene in insects. Its function in sexual differentiation is understood a fair bit, but previously it had not been implicated in wing patterning,” said Dr. Kunte.

For Dr. Kunte who grew up in Pune watching the Common Mormon butterfly, it was a ‘natural progression’ to study the underlying mechanisms of mimicry, he said. “I grew up watching this splendid butterfly and the toxic species that it mimics in my neighborhood. Later, during my development as an evolutionary biologist, this childhood fascination of swallowtail butterflies turned into an academic research program to find out how selection facilitates and shapes the diversification of animal lifeforms. Swallowtail butterflies is what I have known in so many ways for so long, therefore trying to understand the ecological and genetic controls of mimicry and  polymorphism in this species was a natural progression.”

Source article

Kunte, K., Zhang, W., Tenger-Trolander, A., Palmer, D.H., Martin, A., Reed, R.D., Mullen, S.P., and Kronforst, M.R. 2014. doublesex is a mimicry supergene. Nature, Published online 5 March 2014. DOI:10.1038/nature13112

Some links on this finding can be found below

http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/03/05/the-supergene-that-paints-a-liar/

http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/03/07/single-gene-called-doublesex-controls-wing-mimicry-butterflies

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/05/us-science-butterfly-idUSBREA241U720140305

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/03/supergene-lifesaver-colorful-butterfly

It’s great to see that almost all the trees in Valley School are in full of fruits.  My last visit was at 1.00 PM when generally we don’t get birds but still some of the snaps :-).

Coppersmith Barbet

Coppersmith Barbet

Pale billed Flowepecker

Pale billed Flowepecker

White-rumped Munia

White-rumped Munia

Blue Faced Malkoha

Blue Faced Malkoha

Bee

Bee

Indian Little Orange-Tip

Indian Little Orange-Tip

Indian Pioneer

Indian Pioneer

Dakhan Common Gull

Dakhan Common Gull

Indian Common Sailer

Indian Common Sailer

 

Very near to Malenadu(Rain Home), Bhadravati offers a good variety of birds and some of those endemic to western ghats. I stayed to my relative and have fun of having home food and excellent birding. Rain hinders up to do continuous birding but it was exciting. Enjoy some of the pictures.

How to go Bhadravati – Very easy, there are more than 10 train, which goes to Shimoga. One train start from Bangalore at 12 night and reach there at 4.30 morning (good for birders). Though I didn’t roamed around much, Bhadra Dam, Tiger Forest, 100 km around Jog falls, lot of famous lakes in Shimoga.

Where to stay – I don’t know. You can always go to my relative home :-).

30 km ahead, Chikmagalur will start and hence even bhadravati has some species of western ghat birds.

 

Little Heron

Little Heron – My first time view.

chestnut headed bee-eater, a western ghat beauty

chestnut headed bee-eater, a western ghat beauty

Black-rumped Flameback Woodpecker

Black-rumped Flameback Woodpecker

red whiskered bulbul - about to feed the child

red whiskered bulbul – about to feed the child

Red Whiskered Bulbul Juv

Red Whiskered Bulbul Juv

lesser whisling ducks

lesser whisling ducks

My daughter Kriti and my relative

My daughter Kriti and my relative

Crimson Backed Sunbird

Crimson Backed Sunbird

Yellow Footed Pigeon

Yellow Footed Pigeon

Purple Rumped Sunbird -- Male

Purple Rumped Sunbird — Male

Purple Rumped Sunbird - Female

Purple Rumped Sunbird – Female

Scaly breasted Munia - at our relative home

Scaly breasted Munia – at our relative home

Peafowl - There were a group of 10 peacockqPeafowl - There were a group of 10 peacock

Peafowl – There were a group of 10 peacockqPeafowl – There were a group of 10 peacock

Greater Coucal

Greater Coucal – a common village bird.

ID don't know

ID don’t know

Early Misty Morning - a pair of Indian Grey Hornbill

Early Misty Morning – a pair of Indian Grey Hornbill

Wire Tailed Swallow - common in all swallows at Bhadra

Wire Tailed Swallow

Common Woodshrike

Common Woodshrike

Orange Minivet - Female

Orange Minivet – Female. Completely contradict with her name. In birds as well, names are male dominant.

Orange Minivet

Orange Minivet

ID don't know

ID don’t know

Common Indian Toad

Common Indian Toad

Don't know the ID

Don’t know the ID

Common Indian Toad

Common Indian Toad

common caster pair enjoying the rain

common caster pair enjoying the rain

baya weaver searching insects in dry grass

baya weaver searching insects in dry grass

Baya Weaver male, collecting mud for his nest

Baya Weaver male, collecting mud for his nest

Migrants – Butterflies

MY Blog on migrants

Want to be a Nomad

Have you noticed this butterfly which is seen almost everywhere in Bangalore? They are fluttering all over the city – these butterflies are a part of the migratory swarm. Hundreds of  butterflies are found roosting on trees and plants, it is magical indeed  to observe this visual treat.

Dark Blue Tiger 5

Lepidoptera migration is a biological phenomenon whereby populations of butterflies or moths migrate over long distances to areas where they cannot settle for long periods of time.  By migrating, Lepidoptera species can avoid unfavorable circumstances, including weather, food shortage or over-population. The Danaids in South India are also prominent migrators, between Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats. Three species are involved in this, namely Tirumala septentrionis, Euploea core and Euploea sylvester. Sometimes they are joined by Lemon Pansy (Junonia lemonias), Common Emigrant (Catopsilia pomona), Tawny coster (Acraeaterpsicore) and Blue Tiger (Tirumala limniace)

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Bird watchers know that all Flycatchers catch bees, wasps, dragonflies, butterflies and other insects as part of their diet. (Indeed, so do many other birds.)

So…you’d expect the personnel manning the Butterfly Park in the Bannerghatta Zoo area to know that as well. And, when they see a bird catching a butterfly, they would just catch it with a net and release it elsewhere, wouldn’t you?

You’d be…’dead’ wrong.

That’s the right word to use in the circumstances.

Srikant VK writes:

“The employers of the butterfly park saw the flycatcher catching some butterflies,the only crime this innocent little bird did was to fill its belly by eating butterflies. They cud have caught it through the bird net and released it but they immediately shot it with the Air gun. This was witnessed by friend and another student who is doing some studies on butterflies. They objected before the act but the zoo keepers did not bother to listen.

I feel that it is insane of zoo keepers to do this. Are they instructed to do so? It looks as if the gun is used for this purpose only. Can’t they think of any better alternative ? We need to stop this or we are going to lose many birds in that particular region. Can someone take this up with the respective authorities ?

He’s also sent a picture of the picture of the dead bird. This was taken by Ritesh Singh Siddharth, one of the two people who tried to protest the killing of the bird.

 

apk killed at btrfly pk 020313 photo apf.jpg

Would you like to know what a male Asian Paradise Flycatcher looks like? It’s one of the more spectacular birds we have:
apf ave 060113 bgz photo DSC09047.jpg

When are our Forest Department personnel going to learn to respect wildlife, and when are they going to be held accountable for such wanton acts of cruelty?

Treasure at home

I was planning for a garden makeover where I wanted to remove some plants and add plants that attracted butterflies. The palms I thought were boring and monotonous so I thought I will relocate them when I found this treasure below .

palm

Eggs and caterpillars and empty pupa of Tailed palmfly

Eggs and caterpillarsand empty pupa of Tailed palmfly

 On this palm I found an empty pupal case , I was so upset that I had not seen the pupa before the butterfly had emerged. But to my surprise I found a fresh pupa, eggs and a newly emerged Tailed palmfly butterfly . I realized that on one palm plant in the garden I had observed the whole life cycle of the Tailed palmfly .

egg

Caterpillar about to emerge from the egg

I found some feeding patterns on the palms , on having a closer look I was surprised to find a tiny caterpillar with a black head.

Tailed palmfly caterpillar

Tailed palmfly caterpillar just emerged from the egg

twocats

Final instar Caterpillars 

pupa1

Newly emerged Tailed palmfly butterfly

Newly emerged Tailed palmfly butterfly

onfingers

Newly emerged Tailed palmfly butterfly

I derive immense pleasure by  holding a newly emerged butterfly .These are simple pleasures of  life which can be achieved by being considerate to life around us. This palm for example which I had considered to be boring and monotonous had really opened my eyes that No plant is useless as every form of life has a purpose in this Universe.

” Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.” ~Jeffrey Glassberg

Brilliant Baron

A Photo essay on the life cycle of the Gaudy Baron Butterfly in the link below

http://wanttobeanomad.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/gaudy-baron/

Its fun to be those places where you been to “n” number of times. Winter started and so winter migrants. Last month, I came from Kanwar Lake, Bihar which is one of the largest freshwater lake. Enjoyed birding, but noticed still many of those migrants need to come like Sarus. Back to Bangalore and enjoying birding. This is yet another trip to Valley School.

Location: Please see into the place section of BangaloreCaptured.com

Time: Nov of 2012.

 

Booted Eagle

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Steppe Eagle

White throated Fantail Flycatcher

Jerdon’s Leafbird Female

Shikra

Oriental Honey Buzzard

Silverbill

Greenish Warbler – Strong migrant

Oriental Honey Buzzard

Common Jezebel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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