December 20, 2009
Attached is a video frame-grab of a milkweed butterfly that we encountered on a hike along the Tenaru River, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. The location was about midway between the coast and Tenaru Falls and was videotaped on November 10, 2009. This is about the best I can do to sharpen the video frame as the butterfly was moving the entire time. None of the frames with its wings open are any good – way too blurry.
Thanks for your help with the identification of this butterfly as well as the Papilio aegeus and the Callidula sp. moth, all of which were videotaped on the same trail heading up the river to the falls.
Bruce Carlson, Atlanta
Solomon Islands, Tenaru River, Guadalcanal
Hi again Bruce,
Thanks for taking the trouble to provide us with a better image. This is one of the Milkweed Butterflies from the subfamily Danainae which includes the Monarch. It is Tirumala hamata, the Blue Tiger and the Brisbane Insects website has numerous nice images. The blue coloration of newly emerged adults fades with time, and your specimen is probably nearing the end of its life. The Lepidoptera Butterflyhouse website also has images of the caterpillar and chrysalis.
The Blue Tiger Butterfly has appeared on several stamps, including one from Australia and one from Samoa.
milkweed butterfly wings open
Sorry that this image isn’t great but it’s the best I could pull out of the video clip. Thanks for help with the identification.