View Full Version : Knight ssp malayana shot at Pasir Ris

06-Sep-2007, 03:54 PM
Looks like there's more evidence of subspecies malayana of the Knight appearing on Singapore island. This female (http://www.naturephotosociety.org.sg/dcforum/DCForumID9/1964.html) was shot recently at Pasir Ris, apparently. So those of you in that area, do look out for this bugger.

For those who are new to what the heck this is about... :hmmm:

The Knight (Lebadea martha) (http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Vines/2382/nymphalidae/nymphalinae/martha.htm) is represented by subspecies parkeri in Singapore. The hindwings of this subspecies has a mauve tinge (that's bluish purple in plain English) whereas the Malaysian subspecies malayana has reddish brown hindwings.

I had initially encountered subspecies malayana on Tekong island during a series of surveys, and later a few examples turned up in various places on Singapore island.

Col Eliot postulated in C&P4 that "the parkeri subspecies (from Singapore) may spread into Johor and, as a result hybridise with the subspecies malayana". It appears that the Malaysian population appears to be the stronger and had in fact, moved into Singapore to hybridise with the Singapore population. Hence the reverse of what Col Eliot postulated is happening to this species.

Perhaps with the larger catchment, the Malaysian subspecies greatly outnumber the Singapore subspecies, and hence is more likely to move into Singapore at the first opportunity. The subsequent evolution of this subspecies would be interesting to follow.

The host plant, Ixora sp.(usually javanica) is common on Tekong and Ubin. These two islands may have provided a stepping stone for the reverse migration of the Malaysian subspecies into Singapore.

Will we see more and more of reddish brown hindwinged subspecies malayana on Singapore island in the future? Will the mauve hindwinged subspecies parkeri be edged out and disappear altogether? Will the hybridisation of the two create a third subspecies which is different in appearance?

Only time will tell....:thinking: