I'm not usually one in favor of that particular acronym but for this situation it could not be more appropriate.
Sunday morning, I get up as usual. Regular day, ready to be freakishly hot (as always in Singapore). Then Kaladidi calls me from the kitchen. I come. She brings me to the back. And there, fluttering very weakly in a plastic, is a beautiful black and yellow 'moth'.
And that was when I started hyperventilating. Because you see, it wasn't a moth at all. It was a butterfly. And not just any butterfly. A COMMON BIRDWING!!!!
That's plain gibberish to you in-initiated lepidopteraphiles. So I will put it plainly. The Common Birdwing is Singapore's largest butterfly. Despite its name, it is not common at all. A popular prize for collectors, it is listed by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and is threatened in Singapore.
Yes, an EXTREMELY rare species came to my house.
I would like to give a huge thank you to Kaladidi. She saw it while she was walking our extremely awesome dog and took it home to show me. Thank you so much!
So after taking loads of pictures of it, we gently placed it on some plants outside my window. And it kind of flopped to the side, like it was dead. But it wasn't. If you blew a little on it, its wings fluttered, very weakly. Its lower abdomen was faded, and some of its yellow on the wings was dirtied. Its colors were still quite vibrant, but otherwise it was not doing well. I thought it would die.
Then I went to have breakfast, but every two minutes or so I came to check on it. Finally one time its wings were fluttering really fast, like a hummingbird's. Slowly it rose up- and up- and then it fell. Then it tried again- up- flop. Finally up- up- up- up- up- a circle around the roof of the car park, and my cousin and I watched awestruck as it flew off behind the building, the image of the yellow and black body against the brilliant blue sky imprinted in our minds forever.
The Glasswing Butterfly