Heliophorus epicles

After a bit of a maudlin post last time here I am back in a blaze of colour to cheer everyone up.

Today was grim in the field. Even the shade dripped all over me. I think it took less than 5 minutes for my lightweight clothing to be soaked. I am sure that all the adverts for garments that wick away the perspiration are scientifically well founded. They just haven’t been tested in Hong Kong in August. They do indeed dry quickly – but only if you stand in a blast of warm breeze for a while. Nevertheless my role is to bring home the tofu – tofu being more politically correct than bacon.

And by the way, I sincerely wish all my Muslim friends Eid Murabak. I miss my trips to Pakistan and the UAE.

Today’s bacon tofu is a common and widespread butterfly in Hong Kong. I long ago ceased to believe that for a photo to be worthwhile the subject had to be rare. Some of the best images I see are of common species. And by golly that’s lucky for me as I rarely see much that could be described as a rarity. Heliophorus epicles sounds like it ought to be a Greek hero or perhaps the latest candidate for Finance Minister. It is though the Purple Sapphire butterfly. A lycaenidae. Gorgeous from any angle. I found one this morning at LNEC, just settled on some blades of grass, almost at ground level. That meant getting out the WD40 and loosening up the tripod and my knees, in that order. Oblivious to any dangers that lurked on the ground (usually ants) I lowered myself as gracefully as I could down to butterfly level and stared the brute straight in the eye.

This is what I saw:

What a profile!!! A bit overdressed for 9.30am but very nattily groomed, if I may say so.

Here is another shot:

This second shot is obviously very similar but now sitting on a less tatty blade of grass. The downside is the antennae are almost overlapping so it looks as if one is blurred – it is not. Honest. It also has a less grungy background.

And here is the final offering:

Of the 3 I like the angle of this shot the best. The background is fab but only the head is sharp. Does that mean I should bin it? Views welcome. Please.

I do of course have other images to work on but I don’t want to spoil you. I shall allow you to gorge yourself on H. epicles and then pause before we try just one more wafer thin little mint.




2 thoughts on “Heliophorus epicles

  1. This is a charming little creature, isn’t it? I like it a lot. Like you, I think my favorite is the last one, and I don’t mind only the head being sharp at all.

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

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