|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This is a Nymphalid/Satyrid butterfly named Lethe vindhya Felder, 1859, commonly called the Black Forester (although this is not by any stretch of the imagination a reference to the Black Forest in Germany.|
Lethe is a large genus with probably upward of 60 species in the Oriental region. Lethe vindhya is found from Sikkim and Nepal, through Burma and Thailand to Indo-China and the Malay Peninsula. In Malaya and Vietnam it is referred to in the literature as a montane species, and it may be so throughout its range.
This picture was taken at the top of the mountain in Ba Vi National Park, about 50km west of Hanoi. There is good information on Ba Vi here. The peak is above 1200 metres and holds a former Bhuddist shrine now dedicated to Ho Chi Minh. It is rather odd to find just a statue and offerings to the Chairman inside the temple, rather than the usual Bhuddist ornaments.
The butterfly was basking in the sun on some paving stones at the rear of the shrine. The temperature early in the year, and considering the altitude, was not particularly warm. There is relatively little about L. vindhya on the web, but I have found the following quotes:
A somewhat rare butterfly of 65-70 mm. Upper surface of wings brown. Hind wing with a small tail like projection. Upper surface of hind wing with prominently pale ringed eye spots. Under surface of the wings beyond the middle area paler lilac. This butterfly inhabits forested areas of hilly terrain. Recorded from Shillong during June – September.
In Sikkim http://www.envis.nic.in/soer/soer-sikkim/buttr.html: Black forester Lethe vindhya Rare, upto 1,800 m, Rangpo Valley.
jcoowanitwong has marked this note useful
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- [2008-01-08 12:08]
probably the first picture of L. vindhya at TN. Point of view is diffcult but, nevertheless, the wing pattern is well shown.
I would like to include your picture in a TN-Theme on Satyrinae which I will create in the next days. Is that o.k.?
By the way, there is a new book covering specifically the Satyrinae of Vietnam:
Monastyrskii A. (2005) Butterflies of Vietnam. Vol. 1, Nymphalidae: Satyrinae. - Cartographic Publishing House, Hanoi.
Perhaps, you know it!?
Best wishes, Peter
- [2008-01-08 12:41]
Hi Alan,very interesting this black butterfly,you are showing us a lot of incredibles species,very good work,thanks for share,Luciano
Nice seeing this rare species. The beautiful wing pattern and markings are clearly seen. Very well done and tfs.
A good shot of this relatively hard to come by species. A little more DOF would have been nice.