Black Tipped Archduke feeding on rotting starfruit

on 28th May 2014

Jeremiah Loei’s video clip shows the female Black Tipped Archduke (Lexias dirtea merguia) feeding on the rotting juice of the Starfruit (Averrhoa carambola). This butterfly is a forest species, seldom moving outside. A strong flyer, it often comes down to the forest floor to feed on rotten fruits and other rotting organic matter. The video was documented at Singapore’s Venus Drive.

The screen grab image above shows a female Black Tipped Archduke moving up the rotting fruit. That below shows the same female with her proboscis unfurled taking up the juice of the rotting fruit.

According to Khew Sin Khoon of Butterfly Circle, this Black Tipped Archduke may often be found feeding with its other two conspecific, the Archduke (L. pardalis dirteana) and the Yellow Archduke (L. canescens pardalina) on rotting fruits in the forest floor LINK. And under normal conditions, the Archdukes are skittish and fast-flying, usually gliding rapidly no more than a metre above the forest floor.

Sin Khoon further added: “Butterflies feeding on fermenting fruit on the forest floor is a common phenomenon. Fruits range from figs, jambu, starfruit, guava, chiku and many others that fall naturally on the forest floor or in plantations often have certain species of butterflies visiting them. I presume that the butterflies are after the fructose or sugars in the fermenting fruits.”

Seel also HERE for feeding behaviour of butterflies.

Jeremiah Loei & Khew Sin Khoon
May 2014

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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