Chin’s Butterfly Gallery
Why is this butterfly named Painted Jezebel? Is it because its colours appear to have been painted on like heavy make-up? Copyright © Chin Fah Shin.
The Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete)
OVER A PERIOD OF about four weeks in July and August this year (2021), I watched and photographed the growth/development of the Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete) from egg to eclosion... and this photo essay is the result of all that effort.
All this was possible because a Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe pentandra), a parasitic plant, had "taken root" on a branch of the Water Jasmine plant (Wrightia religiosa) growing in a large clay pot on my front porch. Please see photo at right.
I knew that the mistletoe is the larval host plant of the Painted Jezebel, and while taking its photos this thought crossed my mind: "What a good opportunity it would give me should a butterfly come and lay eggs on it."
(The Malayan Mistletoe is usually found growing on the branches of larger and taller trees, and this makes observation and photography difficult. On several occasions in the past, at various places, I saw Painted Jezebels flying in the tree canopy, weaving in and out of the branches, to look for this host plant.)
Several days later I did find some eggs on the mistletoe and I felt that my silent wish had been granted.
That young plant is dead and gone now after all its leaves had been eaten up by the Painted Jezebel caterpillars.
During those four weeks (in fact, for a significant part of the year 2021), virtually the whole country was (and still is at the time of this writing) under lockdown (in Malaysia we had the Movement Control Order or MCO) because of the Covid-19 pandemic with daily new infected cases hovering around 20,000, yet I did not have to venture away from home to indulge in my twin hobbies of butterfly watching and nature photography.
Yes, I count it a providential blessing to have had this rare opportunity to record the life history of another butterfly species, doing so in the comfort and safety of my home, and to compose this photo essay for my website. For this I thank my Creator. - Chin Fah Shin, August 14, 2021
The Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe pentandra) growing on my Water Jazmine plant. Copyright © Chin Fah Shin.
PLEASE CLICK ON A THUMBNAIL IMAGE BELOW TO SEE THE LARGER PICTURE AND A BRIEF DESCRIPTION
THIS PAGE REVISED ON AUGUST 17, 2021. COPYRIGHT © Chin Fah Shin.