Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tree of Life - Featuring Atlas Moth, Butterfly, Birds and A Bee-Hive

Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) are considered one of the largest moths in the world. They are probably named after their map-like wing patterns. Atlas moths are maroon in color with geometrical translucent patches outlined in black on both forewing and hindwings.

I first saw this moth hanging from a shade tree which was planted along the road, outside my house. Besides providing a cool presence, many critters love to perch on it.

Dorsal surface of the Atlas Moth 

Its upper distal extension of the forewing bears a strong resemblance to a snake's head. This is possibly to mimic the image of a snake as a means of defense. Its large size would mean that it is an easy target for predators to spot.

The ventral surface

The Atlas moth body is covered with stiff hairs which probably is part of its defence.

Common Mormon Butterfly (Papilio polytes) also seek out this tree for rest and respite. Their delicate legs resting ever so lightly  on the leaf surface.

The female Common Mormon Butterfly (Papilio polytes) has brown-black banded forewings. On the hindwings are attractive patches of red and white ...

edged by red crescents on the scalloped edge of hind wings.

Where the butterflies go, birds make a presence. Yellow Vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier), Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) and other birds are frequent visitors.

  A Yellow Vented Bulbul

A curious and restless Olive-backed Sunbird.

This bee-hive is a focus of activity of the honey-bees. I'm wondering when I can start harvesting the honey. Would I get stung while doing it. It seems like an impossible job.

The Tree-of-Life is fronted by this variegated Bougaianvillea.

A row of trees highlighted by the late afternoon sunrays streaming in from the west.


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