“The Dark Brand Bush Brown (Mycalesis mineus macromalayana, family Nymphalidae, subfamily Satyrinae) is a commonly encountered greyish-brown butterfly in Singapore and may be found from urban parks to forested areas (Khew, 2010). On the afternoon of 15th October 2014, I chanced upon a mating pair along forest edge (above).
“With abdomens intimately engaged, they were seemingly performing a delicate ‘dance’, with a Simpoh Ayer leaf as their ‘stage’, and me as their sole audience. And so I watched with intrigue, as the male was regularly pushing his abdomen towards the female, prompting her to inch forward over time.
“A video clip of this mating pair (with amorous male demonstrating his rhythmic rearward thrusts) may be previewed here:
“Towards the end of the video, a third party (possibly a rival male) arrived onto the scene but soon flew away, realising how inseparable the couple was.
“In northeast Australia, a detailed study of the mating frequencies of Bush Brown butterflies revealed that the females were polyandrous, whereby females mated several times during their lifetime (Braby, 1996). It will be interesting to see if the Bush Browns in Singapore have similar reproductive strategies.”
Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
31st December 2014
1. Braby, M. F., 1996. Mating frequency in Bush-Brown butterflies (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae). Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society, 50(1): 80–86.
2. Khew, S. K., 2010. A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Singapore. Ink on Paper Communications Pte Ltd, Singapore. xxv + 342 pp.