Saturday, June 14, 2014

New butterfly species fluttering in for a Singapore visit

My Paper, Thursday, June 12, 2014, Page A4, News, Top Stories
VIBRANT: The Red Spot Sawtooth

PHOTO: VIBRANT: The Red Spot Sawtooth is one of the new species spotted here this year.

IT IS not just the huge swallowtail moth Lyssa zampa that has been appearing in surprisingly large numbers here. A bumper crop of butterfly species has also been spotted this year.

Some species which have never been previously recorded here have made an appearance as well, and are believed to have flown in from across the Causeway.

Experts told My Paper that they have spotted at least five new butterfly species so far this year, compared with the usual two or three spotted yearly. The new species include the Lesser Albatross and the Red Spot Sawtooth.

They have been seen in Sime Forest near Venus Drive, Lower Kent Ridge Road and MacRitchie Reservoir. Most of them flew in over the last few months, starting from April.

Last month, many Singaporeans were reported to have seen the dark-coloured Lyssa zampa moth, which is nearly the size of a person's hand.

National University of Singapore (NUS) ecologist Anuj Jain said erratic weather conditions this year might have led to the rise in butterfly populations in Malaysia, causing more of these migratory species to fly here.

These butterfly species are usually found in the forest and can be found throughout peninsular Malaysia, including the Panti Forest in nearby Johor, he said.

"It's not a conscious migration," he said. "The unusual weather may have triggered a lot of plants to flower in Malaysia. Strong winds could have brought the butterflies here, too."

Butterfly expert Khew Sin Khoon said: "After months of bad drought followed by rain, the sudden growth of new leaves could have prompted butterflies to lay more eggs, contributing to the higher numbers of butterflies in Malaysia and Singapore."

The peak in numbers could also be due to the drop in the number of birds that prey on butterflies and caterpillars, because the avian migratory season has ended, said Mr Khew, who is an honorary research affiliate (subsidiary group) at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at NUS.

Likewise, local butterflies such as the Lemon Emigrant and Tailed Jay have been observed in greater numbers this year, due to the mass flowering, said Mr Anuj, who also heads the butterfly interest group at the Nature Society of Singapore.

Surveys are still ongoing to tabulate the number of local species observed this year, and the findings should be out by the end of the year, he added.

Butterfly enthusiast Gan Cheong Weei said that the naturalisation of new butterfly species here is an area that "warrants more studies".

The 51-year-old manager, who has been a butterfly watcher since he was a boy, said: "It's nice to have more of them here, but we don't know the impact that they will have on our local species."

Medical technologist Clayton Low spotted a Red Helen butterfly in Lower Kent Ridge Road a month ago. It is believed to have been spotted here for the first time and is almost as big as the Lyssa zampa, said the 30-year-old.

He added: "Hopefully, in time to come, many people will be aware that the number of species of butterflies we have is a good indicator of the biodiversity of plants we have here."

By Carol Khew, mypaper,, Published on Jun 12, 2014

 李壮平:东方神女 (Lǐ zhuàng píng: Dōng fāng shén nǚ)

PHOTO: 李壮平:东方神女 (Lǐ zhuàng píng: Dōng fāng shén nǚ)
Li Zhuang Ping: Nude Goddess of the East
Li Zhuang Ping, Male, born 1948, President of Art, China Art Academy, with years of focus and experience, engaging in-depth study of traditional Chinese painting and oil painting. Foster daughter is also a successful painter. In 2008 together with her daughter, Li Qin, they produced oil-painting album "Chinese realism oil painter Li Zhuang-ping (李勤东 lǐ qín dōng) Mountain Goddess (山鬼 shān guǐ) series of paintings collection. It won international acclaim. Also known as Oriental Goddess or Goddess of the East by some.

In this case, while the great oil painter Li Zhuang Ping painted her daughter, Li Qin in the nude, to the despise of the people of China and the authority, one need to look at the actual goods delivered, to decide if this is not another melanine-tainted story.

First, the daughter obviously does not have such big breasts as shown in the paintings, neither does she possesses that physical built. Only the face looked very much like hers.

Secondly, the tiger, leopard and lion are not in captivity in Li's home, or else he or Li Qin would be mauled to death by now. Like these animals, he could have painted them and her daughter from pictorial references, being an expert that he is, this can be easily done. He just needed to take some photos of her daughter in various moods and facial expressions to achieve that, the rest is up to his imagination and inkling.

In short, there is no need for Li Qin to strip naked, stand or sit still in the jungle, with those creatures beside her, for hours. In fact, the body of Li Qin in the painting reminded me of that of top Japanese gravure model, Mikie Hara.
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