Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lemon Pansy

A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The Lemon Pansy is a common butterfly found throughout southern Asia. It is the most common of the six pansies found in India. The Lemon Pansy is known to be territorial and aggressive. I came across a number of these butterflies in Anuradhapura and found them quite easy to photograph. Their flight is strong and consist of strong wingbeats with less fluttering.  However, they do spend a fair bit of time perched on shrubs and flowers. More info and images inside.

A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Like the Chocolate Soldier,  the Lemon Pansy rests on or close to the ground with it's wings spread. It settles in wet patches on the ground more frequently than other Pansies. When I was photographing these butterflies they were feeding or basking in the warm early morning sunlight. They are a small to medium sized butterfly with prominent "eyespots" on the upper sides of both wings.

A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Male Lemon Pansies are known to perch at strategic locations with the aim of intercepting females and inspecting potential mates. It is quite well camouflaged when it sits still with its wings held above its abdomen. The male is known to move into new locations if their current locations are unsuitable.

A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

This butterfly loves to feed on Nectar and can frequently be seen settling on shrubs and other small plant's to feed.  During this time it displays the upper sides of its wings. In the evenings they move into thickets and settle on a tall grass stems with their wings folded above their abdomen, to spend the night. It is known to have a typical posture, which it takes when it spreads its wings. As a result a lot of the photographs taken of this species look similar. 

A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

I photographed these butterflies in an overgrown plot of land in Anuradhapura. There were a number of large bushes with flowers in bloom and these butterflies were feeding on them. They didn't seem to be too bothered with my presence and I was able to get quite close to photograph them. I had the 100-400mm lens on the 7D and was able to get some frame filling images.

A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Lemon Pansy photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka



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