Sunday, 22 September 2013

Euphaea species

In Ba Be at the end of July we ran into Euphaea masoni regularly, although it was not very common. It was encountered along smaller streams, sometimes even inside villages. When visiting Tay Thien, Tam Dao National Park, in August, this Euphaea was very common there along the major streams in the lower reaches. At first I thought it might be E, guerini, based on the fact that it consistenly displayed all dark tips to the front wings and a blueish patch when catching the light on the underside of the hindwing. Subsequent observations showed that the wingtip pattern was more variable and structural characteristics when studied in hand identify it as E. masoni. See also the entry of September 29. Higher up on the streams at Tam Dao, in the forested parts, yet another, smaller, Euphaea can be commonly encountered. This is E. decorata, which is strikingly different from its bigger brother. There are at least 4 other Euphaea species in Vietnam, but this is a good start! The females are a major puzzle, but E. masoni has a different facial pattern from the smaller E. decorata. E. decorata has more white in the face.

Euphaea decorata, male, still fresh enough to display thorax pattern

An older male, thorax all dark

Euphaea decorata, female, showing extensive white antefrons

Euphaea masoni, male, with blueish shine and all dark hindwing.

Euphaea masoni, female

Frontal view, showing dark antefrons

Another female Euphaea masoni

Euphaea masoni, male, with light tips to the hindwing 

Euphaea masoni, female

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