Insect Pollinators (butterflies and bees) invading our garden!

Yippee! Helpful bugs and insects – come and swarm our garden, you’re most welcome!
Garden pests – be gone! You’re not at all welcomed!

I can’t get enough of these lovely creatures visiting our garden, especially our Malaysian butterflies and bees! Here’s sharing some wonderful captures of our garden visitors! Enjoy! :D

The Appias libythea olferna (male) nectaring the Duranta Repens / Erecta 'Sweet Memories' Blackveined Albatross or Striped Albatross –
What a beauty! These medium-sized butterflies with wingspan about 5-6cm visit our garden daily, normally travelling in pairs! Such fast fliers and I’m absolutely excited to have succeeded in capturing a shot of one of them finally! The scent of the Pigeon Berry flowers adorning our frontyard garden attracts them so or is it the sweetness of its nectar? Hence, we’ve planted another one at our backyard for the sole purpose of attracting these gorgeous white butterflies. Indeed, they are fluttering around everyday behind our kitchen, brightening our day! :D

Scientific name: Appias libythea olferna
Common name: Small Blackveined Albatross or Striped Albatross

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Pieridae
  • Subfamily: Pierinae
  • Genus: Appias
  • Species: A. libythea olferna

Cycad Blue Butterfly or Plains Cupid Cycad Blue Butterfly or Plains Cupid –
These are really very tiny butterflies with wingspan about 1.5-2 cm, nonetheless they’re so beautiful when seen in this macro shot which brings out the magic of nature! They are daily invading our garden, mostly attracted to the tiny flowers of Cuphea Hyssopifolia. I’ve read from this butterfly article that they are pests to Cycad palms? Hmm…wondering whether that’s the reason they’re being commonly named Cycad Blue? Blue in its softest shade can be seen on its wings when fanned out. In our garden, they’re never pests but insect pollinators and I just love seeing these tiny Chilades pandava fluttering around! They’re seen usually on bright sunny mornings and ‘sun-bathing’ in the afternoons! :D

Scientific name: Chilades pandava pandava
Common name: Cycad Blue or Plains Cupid

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Lycaenidae
  • Subfamily: Lycaeninae
  • Genus: Chilades
  • Species: C. pandava pandava

A collage of the Black Bee feasting on the Pigeon Berry/Duranta Repens 'Sweet Memories' flowers Another garden visitor, an almost black or bluish-black bee! This was my first ever bee shot! I’m absolutely surprised that I was not afraid at all trying to capture this beauty, nectaring on the Duranta Repens ‘Sweet Memories’! Its buzzing didn’t seem menacing at all, more so when I was totally focused on getting its picture! LOL!

Though both this bee and the Striped Albatross as seen in image above are attracted to the same fabulous purple flowers, I somehow sensed that they’ve formed a contract of sorts where both don’t intrude on each other’s mealtime! ;) I’ve seen them having their feast one after another as if in agreement and anyway, the providing plant itself has abundant flowers to spare! It’s so wonderful and fun really watching these gorgeous creatures!

Collage of dwarf honeybees on Dwarf Powderpuff 'Red'/Calliandra emarginata Dwarf Honey Bee (Apis florea) –
Since late May our Powderpuff bush has been blooming gloriously and feeding all those insect pollinators or flower visitors that came for a free meal! Lots of dwarf honey bees (about 10-12mm long) and hover flies have been foraging deep into its beautiful red flaming flowers, practically drunk by its sweet nectar. Needless to say, I’m as excited with all their activites and am delighted to be able to snap pictures of them, though most have only their butts to show off! :D

This specie of dwarf honey bee (Afis florea) differs slightly from Afis andreniformis in that the latter is generally darker and the first abdomen segment is totally black when old, unlike the former with more reddish tones.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Subclass: Pterygota
  • Infraclass: Neoptera
  • Superorder: Endopterygota
  • Order: Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
  • Suborder: Apocrita
  • Family: Apidae
  • Genus: Apis
  • Species: florea
  • Scientific name: Apis florea
  • Common name: Dwarf Honey Bee

Here’s an interesting read on Honeybees, and more images+info on dwarf honeybees, if you’re interested!

Last edited: May 28, 2016

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