Saturday, June 16, 2012

One morning with an Oakblue butterfly

One morning, early this second week of June, I was sipping coffee beside my pond when I felt something falling at my right foot, from above.  Instinctively, I looked what fell.  It was a butterfly, in fact, a Large Oakblue.

On first look, I thought something was wrong with this insect.  But on closer look, I cancelled that impression and got a new one.  It seemed to be a newly emerged butterfly.  Its wings were falling over and it had no strength to fly. Immediately, I concluded that it indeed had newly emerged from its cocoon. It needed drying of its wings as the sun was rising. 

Leaving the coffee cup aside on the stone bench, I kept my index finger near it.  It crawled up fearlessly.  I kept it on the forearm and felt it had excreted something.  I wondered what it was.  It was like honey-like in colour but was thin like water. 

Close up of that 'honey drop'.

 I blew air to open the wings to show the lovely bright metallic blue colour of its upper side of the wings.  Picture below. Not for nothing it has been named as Oakblue!  When it flies around, we can see this colour.  It rarely sits long enough to shoot photos when it grows up. I have seen other oakblues flying around the branches of the almond tree, but it is almost impossible to get photos as it also does not seem to come down much. I had earlier found a dead one and photographed it. Probably this pupa was there on one branch that overhangs the pond.

The tiny caterpillars are susceptible to attack by [weaver] ants and that is probably the reason for its rare appearances.  Many might go eaten away before they pupate. They seem to love the almond tree [Terminalia catappa].

I looked into its eyes through the camera so that you too can look what I looked and what it looked like!

Its club-like antennae was slowly getting some red colour, its young eyes shining in the morning sun.

Then I left it on a day lily flower petal which was getting some sunlight so that it could dry its wings.  It sat there motionless and by this time, the wings had gained some stiffness and were not falling over anymore. The butterfly was getting ready for its first flight. The Sun ☼ does wonders to life on this planet, does it not?

A blue banded bee looking for pollen for its breakfast was wondering at this unusual sight. It hovered around a few times and flew away, but not before I got these two pictures.

After watching it for quite some time I bid good bye to it and left for my other morning duties before leaving for work. My coffee had become cold. But I did not mind today.

I have also added this butterfly's information on the database at Dave's Garden here:

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