The Danaid Eggfly, Mimic, or Diadem (Hypolimnas misippus) is a widespread species of Nymphalid butterfly. It is well known for polymorphism and mimicry i.e. the resemblance of an animal species to another species or to natural objects; provides concealment and protection from predators. Males are blackish with distinctive white spots that are fringed in blue. Females are in multiple forms that include male like forms while others appear like the toxic Danaus chrysippus and Danaus plexippus butterfles. They are found across Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The Great Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina), also called Blue Moon Butterfly in New Zealand or Common Eggfly, is a species of Nymphalid butterfly.The upper sides of the wings are jet black, offset with three pairs of white spots &two on the forewing and one on the hind. These white spots are surrounded by purple iridescence. In addition, the upper side of the hind wing bears a series of small white dots.
The Golden Shower Tree’s scientific name (The Cassia Fistula) is derived from words Cassia, meaning aromatic bark (like Cinnamon) and fistula, indicating tubular or pipe-like shape, which describes the pods. It is a popular ornamental tree worldwide and has multiple medicinal properties.
It is called ‘Aragvadha’ which means ‘disease killer’ in Ayurveda, and is used to treat several dermal, gastrointestinal and cardiac problems. The Golden Shower tree is a beautiful flowering tree with unusual, interesting fruit and significant cultural relevance. Apart from its various uses, when in full bloom in May and June months, it is one of the most beautiful trees in the dry deciduous forests and street sides of India.
The flowers are of ritual importance in the state of Kerala, where they are part of the ‘Vishukkani’ during the festival of Vishu. Its leaves are also used as offerings during religious ceremonies. Besides this, it is the floral emblem of the state of Kerala and the national flower of Thailand.
The tree is native to India and other countries in South and Southeast Asia. A variety of local names in different Indian languages demonstrates its widespread occurrence across the country. Common names range from Amaltas in Hindi, Bahava in Marathi and Vishu Konnai in Malayalam. Interestingly, in West Bengal, the Golden Shower Tree’s local name – Bandar Lathi (meaning monkey’s stick) is derived from the supposition that monkeys are particularly fond of the sweet pulp around the seeds and by eating them, help in dispersing them. The Golden Shower Tree is also mentioned in various Sanskrit scriptures and literary works by different names like Karikara, Suvarnaka, Kritmala, etc.
Scientific Name: Sedum Morganianum-succulent family
The donkey’s tail succulent (Sedum Morganianum) is a popular and easy-to-grow trailing succulent with rows of fleshy, tear-drop shaped leaves. This plant is also commonly known as lamb’s tail, burro’s tail, or horse’s tail. Some other closely related Sedum varieties may also be known by any of these names. These succulents make excellent hanging plants or they can be used as trailers (a plant with only one root that creeps along the surface) in small pots.
Growing burro’s tail provides fascinating texture as a graceful houseplant or lush green exterior plant in many landscape situations.
A mature specimen might have branches up to 2 feet (60 cm) long, with dozens of grey-green, plump leaves lined up like droplets. Flowers readily emerge in late summer in hanging clusters of small blossoms in red, yellow or white.
Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is a species of antelope native to the Indian subcontinent. Photos captured at Bannargatta National park.
This species is the only living species of the genus Antilope, and has been introduced in Texas and Argentina. It is one of the fastest of all terrestrial animals reaching to speeds of up to 80 km/h and is one of the few antelopes where males and females have distinctive coloration, as the male bucks are a distinctive black and white and have long twisted horns, while females are fawn coloured with no horns. In its scientific name Antilope cervicapra, ‘Antilope’ from ‘anthalops’ (Greek) a horned animal; ‘cervicapra’ from ‘cervus’ (Latin) a deer and ‘capra’ (Latin) a she-goat.
Hamster close up, photographed at a farm house in Mysore.
Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. Hamsters are nocturnal, sleeping during the hot days and playing in the cooler evenings. They have very poor eyesight, colorblind and can see only up to 6 Inches in front of them but have a keen sense of smell and excellent hearing. Most species of hamsters have expandable cheek pouches in which they can carry food and bedding back to their burrow where they will store food.
With potential life span of 2-3 years adult body weighs 100-150 grams (adult females are slightly larger than adult males) and Hamsters react to their names; can dig up to 3 Meters in the wild and remembers their relatives. Only a few hamster species are widely kept as pets but the hamster is the most popular of the smaller rodents kept as a pet in many countries today. So sad they are widely being used in test & research laboratories Worldwide!
Rain tree, Coco tamarind (Samanea saman) Flowering tree close up with buds.
Common name: Rain Tree, Coco tamarind, Acacia preta, French tamarind, Saman, Monkey pod • Hindi: गुलाबी सिरिस Gulabi Siris, Vilaiti siris • Bengali: Biliti siris • Tamil: Amaivagai, Thoongumoonji maram.
Botanical name: Albizia saman (Jacq.) Merr. Albizia saman Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family) Synonyms: Samanea saman, Acacia propinquaMimosa saman
Large, handsome and spreading, the Rain Tree is easily recognised by its umbrella like canopy of evergreen, feathery foliage and puffs of pink flowers. Samanea saman meaning “rain”, but in India it is believed that the name was given because of a curious habit possessed by the tree of intermittently spraying the ground beneath with moisture. Later it was discovered that this was caused by multitudinous minute insects. The fruit is a fleshy pod, sweet to the taste and much relished by squirrels, horses and cattle.
Chinese Ixora flower bunch also known as jungle geranium is actually a cluster of many small blossoms formed into a huge ball. Photographed in a thickly wooded hilltop isolated area at Yercaud, TN, India.
There are about 400 species of Ixora of which the majority are endemic in India, China and Malaysia. Today a large number of cultivars of Ixora coccinea and Ixora chinensis are being cultivated throughout the tropics for their long lasting flowers and attractive shiny leaves. The forms of Ixora chinensis are usually growing only 2.5′ to 3′ high (0.75m to 0.90m ), with colors ranging from white to pink and orange.
Rarely seen fully grown Ballon Plant tree in Wild near Kumili, Thekkady forest reserve area, Kerala, India.
Gomphocarpus (Asclepias physocarpus) is a plant in the milkweed family (in the subfamily Asclepiadoideae of the Apocynaceae, formerly the Asclepiadaceae) often used as an ornamental for the striking yellowish, ball-like fruits.
Flowers are followed by unusual fruits that look like hairy, inflated spheres. The pale green, soft, almost translucent, bladder- like follicles, covered with soft hair-like spines, swell to up to 3 inches in diameter. The follicles become yellowish, often tinged with red or brown, when mature, and very gradually split open to release the numerous brown seeds. Each smooth, flattened oval seed has a tuft of long, silky hairs (a pappus) at one end which aids in dispersal by wind. Cut long stems with pods to use in fresh and dried floral arrangements.