Nectaring plants of butterflies

on 5th December 2013

Each butterfly species is generally associated with one or a few plant species, either nectaring or host plant, or both. Nectaring plants are those that butterflies visit to sip on the flower nectar. Host plants are those that butterflies lay their eggs on, as their caterpillars generally feed on leaves of only one or two specific species.

Much is known about host plants of butterflies. However, much less is known about nectaring plants of butterflies.

It is useful to be able to identify both these host and nectaring plants as making these plants available will enhance the butterfly biodiversity of gardens or any patches of vegetation.

Local nature enthusiast Lena Chow’s series of video clips on nectaring plants add on to our limited knowledge of such plants.

1. Pagoda Flower (Clerodendrum paniculatum – attracting a female Cruiser (Vindula dejone erotella) below…

…and the Great Helen (Papilio iswara iswara).

2. Bachelor’s Buttons (Gomphrena globosa) – attracting a Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) below…

…and a Cycad Blue (Chilades pandava pandava):

3. Red Leea (Leea rubra) attracting a Black Veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus hegesippus) below…

… and Long Banded Silverlines (Spindais lohita senama):

4. Lantana (Lantana camara) attracting a Leopard (Phalanta phalanta phalanta) below…

5. Rattleweed (Crotalaria retusa) attracting Common Tigers (Danaus genutia genutia) in both the clips below…

6. Ixora (Ixora sp.) attracting the Great Mormon (Papilio memnon agenor) below:

7. Wild Banana (Musa ornata) attracts a Chocolate Demon (Ancistroides nigrita maura)…

One of the few websites that deal with nectaring plants are seen in Khew Sin Khoon’s Butterfly Circle HERE.

Also, refer HERE 1, HERE 2 and HERE 3.

Lena Chow
November 2013

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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