22 August 2014

Butterflies Galore! : Cornelian

Butterflies Galore!
The Cornelian (Deudorix epijarbas cinnabarus)

The Cornelian is one of two species of the genus Deudorix that has been reliably observed to be extant in Singapore. The early authors' checklists show other species, but that remains to be validated in recent years. The word Cornelian is usually associated with the gemstone "cornelian" which is a red variety of chalcedony, a type of quartz. Its red colour is due to the presence of iron impurities in the form of iron oxide or hematite. The name of the butterfly, which features a bright red upperside, probably comes from its association with the red coloured gem, cornelian.

The butterfly is usually skittish and able to fly at tremendous speeds. However, it can usually be photographed when it is feeding on flowers, or in this case, feeding on the sugary sap on the young inflorescence of the Tiger Orchid. This shot was taken by ButterflyCircle member Loke PF.