Tony Moore

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Tony Moore
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Re: Costa Rica

Postby Tony Moore » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:32 am

=====================================================================
There were many skippers flying around the flowering bushes including:

Plain Longtail (Urbanus simplicius):

1-DSC08201_edited-1.jpg


Teleus Longtail (Urbanus teleus)

6-DSC08251_edited-13.jpg


and Esmeralda Longtail (Urbanus esmeralda )

5-DSC08247_edited-1.jpg



On a walk along a different track, Pierella helvetica incandescens , which lopes around in a light break and returns to the same spot on the muddy track. It has an oddly shoped hing wing and looks as though it has already suffered a bird attack:

09-DSC08371_edited-12.jpg


One of the Glasswings – not sure which out of about thirty, but possibly Greta ora – appeared fairly regularly:

33-DSC08340_edited-1.jpg


When we returned to the hotel a young male White-nosed Coati was digging up the front lawn oblivious to the guests, including yours truly, who were taking his photograph:

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After four days, we moved off to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast. Along the way, we stopped at a road bridge over a big river. A heron was living dangerously!

1-DSC08446_edited-13.jpg


We were staying in an hotel perched above about 75 hect. of rainforest, but sadly, there was no access. There were still some interesting 'flies' to be seen in the immedidate hotel grounds including:

Thoas Swallowtail (Heraclides thoas):

15-DSC08388_edited-1.jpg


Grey Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) - the only Lycaenid species I saw during the entire holiday:
03-DSC08674_edited-14.jpg


Banded Peacock (Anartia fatima)

1-DSC08675_edited-12.jpg


And the delicate regional endemic Heliconius ismenius clarescens.

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The National Park itself was a bit too much like Picadilly Circus for my liking. Dozens of 'guides' with telescopes and tripods each surrounded by a cohort of observers. Three-toed sloths were easily seen in the canopy along with Capuchin and Howler Monkeys:

3-DSC08421_edited-1.jpg


Butterflies were a bit thin on the ground, but I did see a jewel like Rainbow Grasshopper:

4-DSC08555_edited-124.jpg


The cryptically marked Colobura dirce was seen along one short track:

16-DSC08403_edited-1.jpg


But we were anxious to return to some jungle proper...

To be continued.

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Tony Moore
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Re: Costa Rica

Postby Tony Moore » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:02 pm

Our next destination was on the Osa Peninsula in the south-west of the country. The journey took an hour by road, followed by a boat transfer of 12 miles. We were kitted up with life jackets and capes and set off down a wide river towards the sea. Pausing only to inspect a 4-metre crocodile, sunning itself on the bank, we tore out into the ocean at 16/17 knots! After 20 mins very bumpy ride we arrived at the tiny settlement of Drake's Bay, where our hotel was set in steep rainforest above the sea. Our boatman said that the journey by road would have taken four hours! The rooms were dotted among tropical gardens and there were tracks into the forest all around. Taking the coastal track south, one could have walked to Panama if so inclined... There were butterflies everywhere. Not five metres from the room, I photographed Julia Longwing (Dryas julia):

28-DSC08553_edited-1.jpg


White Peacock (Anartia jatrophe):

4-DSC08453_edited-1.jpg



And a small black and white butterfly, that I thought at first was a small heleconid. A closer look revealed a slightly indented forewing and it turned out to be Castilia ofella. It was most amenable, posing first with wings flat and then closing up for and underside shot:

02-DSC08674_edited-12.jpg


04-DSC08674_edited-15.jpg



The beautiful Heliconius sara posed nicely:

27-DSC08514_edited-1.jpg



And the red version of Laparus doris:

01-DSC08538_edited-1.jpg


This latter is interesting in that until recently, it was classified as Heliconius, but genetic investigation discovered that it had a different number of chromosomes from that genus and it was renamed.

In a wooded area, there was suddenly a large, dark butterfly, that settled on a tree trunk, head downwards. This turned out to be a Starry-night Cracker (Hamadryas saurites). The 'crackers' are so named because they make a crackling sound in flight. Unfortunately, this was too high pitched for my ancient lugs! I tried to photograph it using fill flash, but the preflash caused the insect to open and close its wings very quickly and the shot was spoiled. I eventually found one sitting in a little more light and was able to get a resonable shot :

30-DSC08554_edited-13.jpg


To be continued (no.1 still to come...)
Last edited by Tony Moore on Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Tony Moore
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Re: Costa Rica

Postby Tony Moore » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:33 pm

By the last morning the 90% humidity was beginning to affect my camera's electrics and I sat for an hour with my wife's hair drier trying to coax some life into it. I finally ventured out with most of the functions working and had what was for me, the highlight of the trip. Waiting in the shelter of a large tree ( a Moreacae ), a tiny butterfly flitted amongst the lower branches. It was not 10mm tall and sat beautifully for its picture. (fig 30) :

31-DSC08554_edited-123.jpg


It was a stunning little metalmark, at first identified as Sarota gyas (from Philip DeVries's book on metalmarks). However, this work has now been superseded by a very comprehensive 1998 paper on the genus Sarota by Jason Hall – a work of considerable scholarship (pdf downloadable free). It seems that S. gyas is not even found in Costa Rica and my butt was S. acantus...

Whatever it was called, it was a magical sighting...

On the way back I found a smallish yellow butterfly with huge hindwings. It was identified by the guys in Singapore as Enatia melite amalia – a great find:

3-DSC08262_edited-12.jpg


The following morning we had to return to San Jose for our flight home the next day. This involved a short boat trip (with a 'wet' landing), half an hour in a truck over impossible roads and a flight from a tiny grass airstrip. While waiting for our aircraft to appear, I had a little wander... Several small white butterflies were floating about and I assumed that they were small Pierids. When I finally caught up with one at rest, it was obviously a hesperid – Veined white-skipper (Helioptes arsalta):

05-DSC08656_edited-1.jpg


There were also several black and white skippers – Common Chequered Skipper (Pyrgus communis):

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I did briefly consider holding this last photo over until next April 1st and posting it on 'Identification', suggesting that it had been found at 2000 metres in the Alpes Maritimes and asking for an I.D., but that would have been a bit cruel and I doubt it would have fooled anyone for long...

Our last night was spent in an airport hotel, but there was still a bit of waste ground around the car park. An hour of searching produced six species, including my first Zebra Longwing ( sadly too knackered to be worth a photograph) and another Glasswing - no idea which particular species:

6-DSC08293_edited-1.jpg


14 long hours on a cold aircraft the next day, but it was all worth it. An amazing butterfly country and I'd be back there tomorrow if I had the chance.



- Fin -
Last edited by Tony Moore on Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bugboy
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Re: Tony Moore

Postby bugboy » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:11 pm

I've been enjoying your recent batch of posts from Costa Rica Tony, bringing back memories from 2005 when I visited. You saw many of the same species as me :). I found a Sarota sp. which I identified as lascivia from the DeVries's book, I'll have to have a look at that PDF sometime to see if it's still that one!
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Tony Moore
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Re: Costa Rica

Postby Tony Moore » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:39 pm

Thanks, Bugboy.

Do you have a photograph of the Sarota? They are such a fascinating group, I'd love to see it.

T.

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Re: Tony Moore

Postby Goldie M » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:09 pm

Simply beautiful butterflies Tony, their colours are fantastic it must have been a great exciting journey Goldie :D

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Re: Costa Rica

Postby bugboy » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:56 pm

Tony Moore wrote:Thanks, Bugboy.

Do you have a photograph of the Sarota? They are such a fascinating group, I'd love to see it.

T.


They're all on here on two threads from a couple of years ago:

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=8089&p=93429&hilit=+costa+rica#p93429

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=8094&p=93443&hilit=+costa+rica#p93443

Not particularly good pictures, all scanned slides, and looking at them now reminds me I must rescan them using my own camera and the home-made tube as recommended by MikeOxon a couple of years ago which produced much better results than anything I've ever paid for!
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Tony Moore
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Re: Costa Rica

Postby Tony Moore » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:43 pm

Thanks, Bugboy,

You certainly found some wonderful species there - perhaps you weren't encumbered :oops: , I mean accompanied, by a wife...

The pic of the Sarota is too dark to really see any distinguishing features, but the white legs suggest acantus.

T.

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Re: Costa Rica - Glasswings

Postby Tony Moore » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:11 pm

I believe that the right facing Glasswing posted on Sept 20th is Ithomia diasia and the one on Sept 25th to be Pteronymia parva. Advice from a Costa Rican expert, I hasten to add... :mrgreen:

T.

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Tony Moore
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Tenerife

Postby Tony Moore » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:50 pm

Just back from a rather disappointing break in Tenerife. Only managed to find four species. Small whites were fairly common and we saw Monarch, Gonepteryx cleobule and Canary Speckled Wood all in a park in Icod in the north. There was only one Brimstone, which declined to be photographed as did three xiphioides. There were several Monarchs floating around and they did not seem bothered by human presence. They have a lovely flight, with sharply angled wings, often with legs dangling. I'd not seen this butterfly close to before, and one did stop long enough for a pic of sorts:

1-MOnarch.jpg


We searched long and hard for the Canary Blue, sadly without success. I suppose two 'lifers' hardly counts as a disaster, but I had hoped for a few more.

Tony M.

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Re: Tony Moore

Postby Padfield » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:41 pm

Hi Tony. I'm a few posts out of date! But I wanted to thank you for the Sarota pdf - very interesting. Assuming it's correct, which I have no reason to doubt, it seems Seitz, DeVries and d'Abrera have all been wrong-footed by the same misidentification, perhaps as a result of the missing type specimens for these species. D'Abrera even quotes Seitz as saying acantus has black legs, which is clearly wrong. Something similar happened with Euchloe simplonia and Euchloe ausonia in European books, many of which persisted in getting them the wrong way round long after the error had been identified.

Sorry about the lack of species in Tenerife ...

Guy
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Re: Tony Moore

Postby Wurzel » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:18 pm

Sorry you didn't have much luck in Tenerife Tony :( It seems that you went to the right places perhaps it was the time of year? :?

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Tony Moore

Postby NickMorgan » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:42 pm

Hi Tony,
Thank you for your comment on my blog. I am sorry that I have been a bit out of touch this year. I have just been catching up with your personal diary. Wow, you do get about!!! You have been to some fantastic places in the past 12 months. I wonder if January is just a little early for most species in Tenerife. I was really surprised to see so much in July, thinking that March or April could have been better.
I look forward to hearing how you get on in Mauritius.

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Tony Moore

Postby Tony Moore » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:53 pm

Just back from a week in Morocco, staying in an olive growing area about 50 km south of the capital. Clouds of whites and Clouded Yellows along the roadsides - great to see such numbers - reminded me of childhood. :mrgreen: . Most were Small Whites with the occasional LW (these were enormous by UK standards, especially the females.. I was pleased to find a few Green-striped Whites among them and one Greenish Black-tip.
12-DSC08926_edited-1.jpg


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.

Also a few very bright Small Coppers,

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and Wall Browns.

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An small owl (Scops??)landed about 50 mtr away and this was the best I could do with my 105.

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This beetle was very common:

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No idea about species (Bugboy....??). Or this 50mm, cricketish beastie:

05-DSC08869_edited-1.jpg


06-DSC08871_edited-1.jpg


The best for later...

Tony M.

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Re: Tony Moore

Postby Wurzel » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:18 pm

Cracking Green striped white and black tip Tony :D Your Owl looks more like it is a Little Owl than Scops which have sticky up 'ears' :D
Have a goodun

Wurzel
Last edited by Wurzel on Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tony Moore

Postby Padfield » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:33 pm

You don't half get around, Tony!!

I agree with Wurzel about the owl - it has the typical annoyed expression of a little owl. I'm on the edge of my seat for what is to come ...

Guy
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Re: Tony Moore

Postby bugboy » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:22 pm

Agreed, that is a Little Owl, or the north African race/subspecies/form thereof.

As for the Beetle, I'm not entirely sure. At first glance it certainly looks like a Burying Beetle Nicrophorus sp. but the antennae don't look right and also it seems to be eating that flower. As far as I'm aware, Burying Beetles stick to eating corpses and other insects so my guess it's mimicking them.

The other Cricketish thing is indeed a Cricket of some kind. The probable group it belongs too are often referred to armoured Bush Crickets.

Some lovely butterflies there as well :)
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Re: Tony Moore

Postby David M » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:26 pm

Fantastic, Tony. Great to see species rarely referenced on here. Have you any more to come?

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Re: Tony Moore

Postby Chris Jackson » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:50 pm

Nice original and unexpected photos, Tony. I can't possibly imagine what you have in store for us.
Chris
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Re: Tony Moore

Postby Tony Moore » Tue May 02, 2017 11:38 am

Hope I haven't raised too many hopes, there's not much more to come :oops:
We had a day in the High Atlas hoping to find deserticola, but I think we were too far west. On the walk up to an open mountainside there were several perfect Cleopatras swooping about and a sad little Glanville Frit. I also saw what I think may be M. phoebe ssp. gaisericus - perhaps someone could comment?
1-Phoebe.jpg

2-Phoebe 2.jpg


On the tops I saw a fleeting Moroccan Orange-tip and several Desert Orange-tips. This last is a beautiful, delicate little butterfly, but very skittish. I only had one chance, which sadly is pretty poor.
11-DSC08908_edited-1.jpg

There were a few stunted Wild Lavender bushes about and one revealed this beauty:

10-DSC08904_edited-1.jpg


1-DSL.jpg


Allard's Silverline. A species I never considered finding and a highlight for yours truly.
Morocco is a great butterfly place, but stay in the mountains if you go.

Tony M.


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