The Great Mormon (Papilio memnon agenor)
Over here in Singapore, the large flower of the Hibiscus (Malaysia's national flower) does not appear to attract butterflies very often. Is it because there are other more nectar-rich flowers around that makes a butterfly simply avoid the Hibiscus? However, at the Butterfly Hill on Pulau Ubin last Sunday, we saw a number of large butterflies, like this Great Mormon, feeding on the Hibiscus flower. Amongst the other species are the Common Birdwing, Common Mormon and Orange Emigrant.
This male Great Mormon, shot by young ButterflyCircle member Brian Goh, is shown probing deep into the Hibiscus flower with its proboscis for nectar. There were certainly other flowering plants around in full bloom that day, like the Ixora, Lantana, Bidens, Wedelia, Stachytarpheta and Cordia planted at Butterfly Hill. So, why did the Hibiscus suddenly become so attractive to the butterflies? Readers are invited to share their observations and experience here.