Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Graphium Agamemnon: My patience is finally paid off..

A few months ago (or it might be over a year ago).. I saw this beautiful butterfly and I quickly ran to take a picture of it. It was black, with bright green dots and patterns all over its wings.. simple but very beautiful..

After a few runs around the front yard, I decided that the butterfly was far too fast, both for me and my camera! I didn't give up, though.. I loved it and I wouldn't stop until I had its pictures!

I started searching on the internet about this beautiful butterfly. At first, the search didn't come up with anything at all, except some pictures. After a few months, I did another internet search for this black and green butterfly, and my determination was finally yielding a great result!

The beautiful butterfly is GRAPHIUM AGAMEMNON and it is a very active type of butterfly. It is harder to catch by camera compared to other butterflies because it moves around a lot and it flies fast and often high.

Through the search, I also found a blog owner who was a student studying about butterflies and I asked her what I should do to be able to catch a Graphium agamemnon on my camera. She said that I needed to catch it early in the morning when the butterfly was not so fast yet.

I did as she suggested.  There were two Graphium agamemnons that were flying around our front yard almost every day, and I ran after them every time I saw them. Soon I realised that my camera was not the best in the world, it wouldn't win any race against the beautiful butterfly I love. I still refused to give up.

Very soon, I never saw any of the Graphium agamemnon again, I almost didn't see any butterflies at all, for a few weeks after that. Then, I found dead butterflies in the bushes near the front porch. I realised that their 'time' has come and I would have to wait for the new ones to come out of their cocoons, although I had no clue of where their cocoons were.

About two months ago, I started seeing butterflies in the front yard again. A large black one (which Ariq managed to take a picture of with my camera), A black with white and purple pattern, a little white one and a brown one... but no Graphium agamemnon..

I know that there are birds around our house, and I'm sure they always eat worms, caterpillars, and maybe even butterflies. If the birds ever came across the Graphium agamemnon caterpillar, I doubt I would ever see one so close to home again. However, deep inside my heart I was still keeping a tiny ray of hope for the sight of the beautiful black and bright green I love so much.

Then, it happened!

One morning, I was walking around the front yard with my camera in one hand, taking pictures of the morning glories, sunflowers, and other blooming plants, and suddenly, it was there, flying around the bushes outside Mother's window.. Graphium agamemnon..!! I believe it was a young one. It was slightly smaller and it didn't move as fast as the two I previously knew.

I quickly readied my camera in my hand and started 'talking' to the butterfly, asking it to stay quietly on the leave. I manage to get a few shots, but those shots are not as good as I expect them to be. I know that my 'hunt' is still on!

Finally, two weeks ago, Mother asked me to document a community gathering at home with her camera. I still had the camera the next morning because I didn't have time to transfer the pictures to the computer yet. Miraculously, the Graphium agamemnon was flying around the front yard. I quickly ran inside the house to fetch Mother's camera.

Once I was back in the front yard, the butterfly was already gone. I quickly hoped it had gone to the back yard, so I quickly rushed there, and there it was! flying around the plants above the fish pond!

I deactivated the digital zoom and maximised the optical zoom. Then, I quickly directed Mother's camera towards the butterfly. I took as many pictures as the camera's speed allowed. Then, I transferred the pictures to the computer.

The pictures may not be perfect, but, considering I am not a professional photographer, the camera was not a professional camera and the Graphium agamemnon was not as young as the first time I saw it and it was moving around fast, just like the first two I knew, well, I consider these pictures are absolutely gorgeous..

After one year of effort and patience, I now have beautiful pictures of a very beautiful Graphium agamemnon.. The black and bright green butterfly that I love so much..


  1. yay!congratulation!!!you can visit butterfly park in cihanjuang,there are so many big colorful butterflies. you can even touch ones that just hatch from the cocoon. If you want to have graphium or other big butterflies caterpillar you can plant citrus in your yard. Their caterpillar eat citrus leaf so you can catch graphium when it just hatch from cocoon

  2. Hi, Icha

    Nice to see you here..

    I really have to visit the butterfly park in Cihanjuang (with a good camera, spare memory card and spare batteries).. :-D

    And I will definitely plant citrus in our yard.. ;-)

    Thank you so much for your advice and visit..


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