21 June 2013

Random Gallery - Common Tiger

Random Butterfly Gallery
The Common Tiger (Danaus genutia genutia)

This is the last of a long series of butterflies seen and photographed at Gardens by the Bay. With the planting of appropriate host and nectaring plants at GB, the butterfly population has been increasing steadily, with the number of species spotted reaching about 50. It will remain to be seen in the coming weeks how the current haze from forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia, will affect the butterfly population in Singapore. Reaching a PSI of 401 and the highest on record, the environmental impact on our fauna is something that researchers may want to document.

This Common Tiger is amongst the Danainae species that are attracted to the secretions of the Rattleweed (Crotalaria retusa). In particular, they like the seed pods of the plant, where the butterfly appears to scratch the surface of the seed pods with their sharp tarsal claws, causing a "wound" that secretes a transparent sap that the butterfly likes. In this shot, taken by ButterflyCircle member Loke PF, the Common Tiger feeds on secretions on the yellow flower and buds of the Rattleweed.