Sunday, December 18, 2011

Common Sailor - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

A Photograph of the Common Sailor Butterfly (Neptis hylas) taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Common Sailor (Neptis hylas) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

The wetlands in Thalangama are best known for the bird life around the marshes but they are also home to a large number of butterflies. I have seen and photographed the Common Sailor (Neptis hylas) at Thalangama on numerous occasions but, for some reason, never got around to posting them on the blog.

More photographs inside.
A Photograph of the Common Sailor Butterfly (Neptis hylas) taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Common Sailor (Neptis hylas) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

The Common Sailor is found throughout India, Sri Lanka and Burma. Its range is said to extend to Indomalaya as well. It has a wet and dry season form which only differs in the narrowness of the white markings on the wings. This species has been observed making sounds by clicking its foremost pair of legs. However, the reason for this behaviour has not been identified.

A Photograph of the Common Sailor Butterfly (Neptis hylas) taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Common Sailor (Neptis hylas) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

I did find photographing this species relatively easy as they let me get quite close to them. Most of my trips to Thalangama are early in the morning so this may have helped. The Common sailor is known for settling on damp patches, a behaviour I witnessed in Kandy (photograph below).

A Photograph of the Common Sailor Butterfly (Neptis hylas) taken in Kandy, Sri Lanka
Common Sailor (Neptis hylas) - Kandy, Sri Lanka

All photographs on this post were taken with the Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens. I didn't have to use flashes to light the images as the ambient light was sufficient. I did have to bump up the ISO to 400 though.



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