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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Common Malaysian Butterflies - Penang Butterfly Farm Part 2

The Penang Butterfly Farm in Teluk Bahang, Penang Island is home to 3,000 living specimens of over 50 species of rare and exotic butterflies, frogs, scorpions and other insects. Some of the features here include a lily pond, rock garden, tunnel, bubbling mud pool and artificial waterfalls. There is also a garden enclosure, breeding area, laboratory, exhibition area, souvenir shop and information centre, e.g. The Museum of Asian Artefacts which houses an Insect Museum, an Art Gallery and a Gallery of Asian Artefacts.

“Common Malaysian Butterflies - Penang Butterfly Farm Part 2”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on February 26th, 2011.

The following are some of the pictures of Malaysian butterflies that I took during my visit on 9th December 2010.  As soon as I know their correct scientific names, I shall update this post accordingly. Meanwhile, anyone can make a guess. Your help shall be greatly appreciated.

Chocolate Pansy (Junonia iphita / Precis iphita)

Batik Lacewings (Cethosia biblis) butterflies at bottom
and Great Egg Fly (Hypolimnas bolina) on top.

Thank you very much, Andrea for getting the Hypolimnas bolina right!

3. Sexy lady clad in a batik sarong - a Batik Lacewing (Cethosia biblis)

4. The colour of autumn leaves - New Lacewing (Cethosia cyane)

5. Love is in the air for this pair of New Lacewings (Cethosia cyane).
The female is paler in colour compared to the male.

6. Yellow Birdwing aka Common Birdwing (Troides helena)
this beautiful orange-red flower is the zebra plant (Sanchezia speciosa)

Thank you very much to Lotus Leaf who successfully identified the plant!

7. Yellow Glassy Tiger - Parantica aspasia

8.  A female New Lacewing - Cethosia cyane

9. This is the same gal as no. 8 but in a different pose.

10. Chocolate Albatross (Appias lyncida)

11. Dark Blue Tiger - Tirumala septentrionis
feeding on the flowers of Chinese knotweed (Polygonum chinensis)

12. Blue Glassy Tiger (Parantica agleoides)
This one has something extra at the tip of its abdomen.
I wonder what is this thingy for - laying eggs?
Well, one thing's for sure, it is not for hitting golf balls!

* Answer:*
The structure is actually called a hair-pencils. Male butterflies in that family (Danaidae) will have the a pair hair-pencils hide inside the abdomen. they will only show it during courtship (to brush the scent from scent scale on the hindwing to attract female) or threaten (the hair-pencils will emit strong odor scare off the enemy).

I am amazed by the many varieties of live butterflies I can see here. All the photos were taken without using the camera's flash lights. It was indeed a great learning experience for me. I hope you have learnt something too.

My next post is - Pupa Station.

*This post has been updated on Mar 2nd, 2011 with the correct scientific names of the butterflies.
My grateful thanks to Mr Andy Loke, staff of Penang Butterfly Farm for helping me identify all the above butterflies and explanation about the hair-pencil.


  1. I wish i could be there. The butterflies are just so pretty so lovely. You have done a wonderful job capturing them.

  2. Jeden piękniejszy od drugiego. Lubię je obserwować na moim krzewie budleji, który je przyciąga.Pozdrawiam

  3. What beautiful butterflies. We went to a butterfly house a few years back and it was a wonderful experience.


  4. I would love to visit this Butterfly farm. Your photos of the butterflies are beautiful.

  5. They are beautiful! Do you have to pay a fee to bring in the camera? In KL, there is a fee. Anyway, I didn't bring any camera. What a pity.

  6. Wow !!! They are so beautiful and
    the flowers too.

  7. Beautiful. You have done a wonderful job with the photography. i know how difficult they are to photograph.

  8. Enjoy the photos of the butterflies. I will be doing a post on a very special butterfly we have here that you might enjoy. It travels from Mexico to Canada and passes through my gardens along the way. They really are beautiful creatures and bring such life to the garden. Check out my part of Heaven along the shores of Lake Michigan, especially the posting coming on the Monarch butterfly the first days of March this week. I think you might enjoy seeing these gardens. Jack

  9. Lovely butterfly pictures. The orange flower on which the yellow Birdwing is resting seems to be the flower of a Sanchezia.Thanks for all those names of butterflies.

  10. Oh! I wish I could see something so spectacular! They are so beautiful.

  11. Missed my chance to visit a Butterfly farm while in Kuranda, Australia :(. Informative post ....Can now relate to so many different kinds of Malaysian butterflies. Beautiful Pictures!

  12. Thanks for all the photos, the butterflies are really beautiful.
    Goldenray Yorkies

  13. Was there some years ago, but do not recall so many butterflies... very very pretty...

  14. Beautiful photos captured! Don't know the names, only known them as 'butterflies' :)

  15. Beautiful!! I imagine it must be so magical there, with all those butterflies flying around you. I must go back and see part one again. Wonderful post . . . especially as it is snowing here!

  16. Those are so beautiful, i am glad you were able to cath them at rest, but somehow they are easier to shoot in the enclosure than in the wild. Do you know that i am a butterfly enthusiast too, so when in KL i really didn't let the Butterly House be out of our IT. We spent almost a day there! I mostly know only the genus, not the species. We have almost the same here but i dont know if the species are the same. We have the Troides magellanus almost like that T.helene, it is a big butterfly. I wonder why you dont have the Malaysian national butterfly, forgot the name but it is with green boomerang-lile design. We have lots of those Ideopsis in our province property garden, Ideopsis juventa 'manillana'. I am also amazed at the 'thing' at the tip of the abdomen of that glassy tiger, haven't seen it yet nor read it. We have may of them too, with different hues also. And the Cethosia biblis, oh we have them too, so beautiful. The above wing is different than the underside. I remember posting them in 2009 when i still use the Sony P & S. Have you been to the KL Butterfly house?

  17. I don't know the correct names for butterfly species, but I do know that your post is breathtaking. So much helpful information and beautiful photos!

  18. The brown can be Vindula erota and the black is the female Hypolimnas bolina, the male has a different upper side with bluish circles and distinct white bands underside.

  19. Truly an enchanting moment to enjoy close encounter with these birdwings.

  20. Hi AB,

    The photos are stunning! Thanks for posting them.


  21. Muhammad Khabbab, Giga, Flower Lady, Eileenmd, Rainfield, Holley Garden, Radhika, Cher, Plant Postings, Asha. Thank you very much for the nice comments. I’m so glad you have enjoyed the butterflies pictures.

    One, the normal entrance fee was RM 20.00 but for Mykad, then it was discounted to RM 10.00. We can bring in the camera without extra charge. With effect from Jan 2011, the fees has been revised to RM 27.00 and RM 18.00 respectively.

    Ellada, yes the flowers are blooming beautifully.

    Missy, as Andrea said, it is quite easy to photograph the butterflies here. They seem to be engrossed in a world of their own and are more friendly. Some took a rest on my shoulders.

    Jack, I am looking forward to your wonderful butterfly post.

    Lotusleaf, thank you very much for naming the Sanchezia flower.

    Lrong, Kitchen Flavours, James, it is a great real-life experience learning about our beautiful Malaysia butterflies.

    Carol, you are right. I have never been surrounded by so many butterflies. They were so near for me to admire. It was indeed very enchanting.

    Andrea, you are very knowleageble about butterflies. I became a butterfly enthusiast when butterflies started to visit my garden and it was such a magical experience watching them take their maiden flight. However, my knowledge is elementary. Aha, regarding the ‘boomerangs’, they are coming soon in the next few posts. I have been to the KL butterfly park but it was very very long ago, so long ago that I can't remember a thing!

  22. Dear Autumn Belle, It is difficult to pick a favorite: I think my favorite is the lacewing, Cethosia cyane. Beautiful flying flowers. P x

  23. Oh, how I wish I could be there to see them. So many different kinds and they are all so beautiful in their own way.What a wonderful treat.

  24. Lovely butterflies! I love visiting butterfly farm too but i do have phobia with thir babies....!

  25. Autumn Belle, you are once again tempting me to visit Penang. I am not familiar with butterfly taxonomy but your pictures certainly make a good case to go and see them.

  26. Bom-naku we have lots of those here, baka mas magaganda pa, you just must know where to look. If you like i will tell you some leads. This Sunday we will be going to the Pulilan Butterfly Haven, but that is to just bring my friends because i've been to many houses like these when i was still so enthusiastic about them.

  27. What a lovely collection of butterflies! We seem to share quite a few. I have the Chocolate Pansy and Great Eggfly as well as the Blue And glassy Tigers in my garden too.
    The Birdwing is pretty ... I wish I had them too.


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