|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Polyura athamas The Common Nawab|
Polyura athamas, despite its common name, has not been pictured on TrekNature before, so I thought it worth while to post this scanned slide from my old Brunei collection. This species occurs throughout the Oriental Region.
The wings are black above, with a broad yellowish-green discal band ending on vein 4 on the forewing and running from vein 2 on the costa on the hidwing. In addition there is a large detached spot of the same colour in space 5 of the forewing. The underside, as seen here, is paler and on the hindwing the discal band is outwardly edged with crimson brown lunules.
Polyura is one of two genera that form the Oriental Charaxini. The larvae of these butterflies are distinctive in having two pairs of fleshy, spiny horns on the head. The larva of P. athamas is dark yellowish green, with paler lateral stripes. It feeds only at night, and the foodplants recorded include Albizia, Grewia, Caesalpina and Acacia.
The subspecies in Borneo is called P. a. uraeus (Rothschild, 1899). The pair of males pictured are taking salts from damp gravel at the edge of the Temburong river in Eastern Brunei. If you look at Brunei on Google Earth, you will see how it still retains some lush forest; the surrounding areas in Sarawak having been somewhat denuded over the last 20 years. Such a pity to see so much forest gone.
The scanned image has been cleaned up, resized and sharpened in Photoshop. The BG is a bit noisy, but I don't know what more to do to improve it. At least the stunning shape and colours of the butterfly come over well.
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