View Full Version : Is this really a Common Tit?

26-Dec-2006, 10:29 AM
Went to TBHP on 25.12 with Wang Peck and these were taken by her of the the same Common Tit I took. Looking at the upper markings of her shots I decided to put them here for discussion.
Half open
Upper side.
From the markings and coloration of the Upperside, they don't seem to match those found in the Singapore's Butterfly Checklist.

26-Dec-2006, 10:35 AM
This looks like the orange "form" of the Common Tit. The upperside markings are consistent with that of a female. Probably a very recently eclosed specimen as can be seen by its very pristine condition. There is still a mystery about the orange and totally grey "forms" of the Common Tit. They appear to be the same species, but have different colours depending on the host plant that the caterpillars feed on. But this is still something to be investigated further.

In many of these Lycaenids, the angle of shooting occasionally makes the colours look different. This is due to the way light is diffracted by the scales on the wings. Do a search on the Internet on this and you will be amazed at how some of the scales and how they diffract light changes how the butterfly appears at different angles. I used to look at the specimens of the Rajah Brooke's Birdwing, and at certain angles the green triangles on the wings can turn slightly blue, fringed with red.

26-Dec-2006, 01:07 PM
Thanks SK. This butt seems to have a purplish blue tinge on the upper lower wings, that is wh I doubted its ID.

26-Dec-2006, 03:49 PM
Yes, C&P4 also describes certain species with 'purplish tinge' or 'rose tinge' when viewed in side light and so on. In WP's shots, those are exactly the angles that have been shot which would throw some diffraction to create some colours when viewed at that position. Has she got a shot where she positioned herself directly from the top of the butt?

Also, in some recently-eclosed specimens, particularly the skippers, I've also noticed that the wings have a slightly deeper colour or possess colours which would otherwise not be there in a well-dried specimen in the field. Perhaps the fluids during metamorphosis can create some of these interesting colourations prior to drying out.

26-Dec-2006, 04:21 PM
She did not have any directly over this butt.