For the insect enthusiast or general admirer who wants to put a name to the beauties they’ve been seeing: I present a modest collection of photographs and the most accurate identifications I can provide here of butterflies I have found or helped raise in Thailand and Malaysia.
As one of the most admired insect groups, butterflies have become a tool for me in educating others about insect life cycles and ecology. Their peaceful survival strategies and beauty have also helped in soothing some entomophobia. While they have been tools for me to educate others with, they have introduced me to the diversity of each area that I have visited and caused me to recognize faults in my own knowledge of insects. Humbled by their diversity, I have also learned some patience in raising them as I gather fresh host plants for the caterpillars to feed on and gather eggs in anticipation of them hatching.
Butterflies have inspired countless entomologists to observe, describe, and understand the insect realm. It is to them that we owe thanks and this thanks may be given in the form of appreciation. May this modest collection help to continue an appreciation of insects in others.
Papilionidae – Birdwings and Swallowtails
Raja Brooke’s Birdwing – Trogonoptera brookiana (Captive raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Seen in KL Butterfly Garden)
The Golden Birdwing – Troides aeacus (Captive raised in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Seen in Siam Insect Zoo Butterfly Garden)
The Great Mormon – Papilio memnon (Wild adults seen feeding on nectar at Pulau Sibu, Malaysia)
The Lime Butterfly – Papilio demoleus (Wild adult and captive raised caterpillars in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Seen in forests near Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden and the Siam Insect Zoo Butterfly Garden)
Nymphalidae – Brush-footed butterflies (The largest family of butterflies)
The Great Eggfly or Blue Moon Butterfly – Hypolimnas bolina (Wild adult seen in community garden at Bukit Kembara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
The Chocolate Pansy – Junonia iphita (Wild adult in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Seen in forest near the Siam Insect Zoo)
The Clipper – Parthenos sylvia (Wild and captive adult in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Seen in forest near the Siam Insect Zoo and inside their butterfly garden)
Striped Blue Crow – Euploea mulciber (Captive raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Seen in KL Butterfly Garden)
Crow Butterfly – Euploea spp. (Captive adult raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Seen in KL Butterfly Garden)
Yellow Glassy Tiger – Parantica aspasia (Wild adult seen in community garden at Bukit Kembara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Blue Glassy Tiger – Ideopsis vulgaris (Captive raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Seen in KL Butterfly Garden)
Common Palmfly – Elymnias hypermnestra (Captive raised in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Seen in Siam Insect Zoo Butterfly Garden)
Leopard Lacewing – Cethosia cyane
Malaysian Lascar – Lasippa spp. (Wild adult seen in shady rainforests of Pulau Sibu, Malaysia)
Grey Count caterpillar – Tanaecia spp. (Larvae found drowning in creek near Siam Insect Zoo in Mae Rim/Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Black Tipped Archduke male- Lexias dirtea (Seen puddling on the forest floor at Pulau Sibu, Malaysia)
Lycaenidae – Gossamer winged butterflies (second largest family)
The Common Imperial – Cheritra freja (Wild adult seen in community garden at Bukit Kembara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Centaur Oakblue caterpillar– Arhopala centaurus (Wild larvae seen in forest of Pulau Sibu, Malaysia)
Pieridae – The Yellows and Whites
Redspot Jezebels – Delias descombesi
Nolidae – Tuft moths (Small moth family; included for fun among the butterflies)
Special thanks to everyone who helped identify each of these butterflies and for the Siam Insect Zoo for teaching me how to raise some of the caterpillars. All of these photos are my own and taken on an iPhone6 (apologies for the quality). I hope to grow this list as I photograph and learn new species of Southeast Asian Butterflies.
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