Thursday 19 April 2012: Tailed Jay butterfly
WOW! Another fantastic response from you all yesterday. So many hearts, stars and another spotlight, thank you all very much, really appreciated.
This has been a tremendous blip month so far, it is like the blip monster knows that I am leaving and is trying to give me all the insects that he has been teasing me with. Today's blip is a perfect example. I have been trying to get close to this beauty since I first spotted it back in September. I did manage to blip it once but that was from about 5 feet away and not a good image.
What a rush I got when this gem landed in front of me, just a few feet from where I captured yesterdays image. It even allowed me to creep up and achieve minimum focus distance. Having captured lots of natural light shots, I decided to finish off with some flash, but the pop-up flash slipped from under my finger and 'popped' and so that was the end of that! The flash would have lit up the body more and brought out more detail, but the natural light was caught by the wings well enough.
This is one of those arboreal butterflies that I mentioned and very rarely lands so close to the ground. I didn't notice at the time, but the butterfly looks like it might have been egg laying, now that would have been a prize blip! It would have crossed my mind to take the eggs back to the UK, but of course that would have been folly, as caterpillars are very fussy about what they feed on, throwing in a few cabbage leaves would not have cut it.
I have read a few articles on the subject of collecting, NOT that I am considering such action, in fact, I am totally against the practice. The articles surprised me in that they said that collecting a few eggs, caterpillars or even butterflies, does not unduly affect the population. The biggest problem is when breeders release a captive raised butterflies into the population, as they are usually weaker and they and their offspring struggle to survive. So, the breeder might think that he is paying nature back for his gift when in fact he is doing irreparable damage. This surprised me, but makes sense.
I hope you enjoy this gem even half as much as I did in collecting the image, like I said, what a rush!
Identification - Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon), swallowtail family.