Author Koh Lin

Mimesis in art… art imitates nature

What a wonderous world we live in… when sometimes you discover something new… something that catches your eye… that flutters by and into your life in his resplendent accoutrement.

Indeed the first time I saw the Blue Moon Butterfly, I was smitten. There is something about the blue, encapsulating the white spots that was pleasing to my eyes, especially when you see the blue and white glistening in the sunlight, against the velvety black background. On occasion, it seems to shimmer and glow, seemingly to fuse rays of light into the wings, giving off a luminous quality.

Of course before continuing, we must acknowledge the artist, ‘Mother Nature’ and the owner and wearer of the garment as the Blue Moon Butterfly.

But there is more to the revealing of this gorgeous creature. The male of the species wears these colours. That is not to say that the female butterfly is not just as beautiful, indeed she has her own glorious fashion range, and some say that no two female wear the same outfits, such is their colour range and patterns.

So it was, that when I saw the Blue Moon flutter by, I stalked him, no chased him with my mobile in hand. So adsorbed am I in taking those photos, that I did not realise until reviewing the photos minutes later, that the gorgeous Blue Moon Butterfly had changed colour.

What trickery was this? My Blue Moon Butterfly has morphed into the Common Eggfly Butterfly… brown with the white egg shaped spots. To say I was shocked, is putting it politely. Although I can admire a good looking male of the species, I had never thought I was shallow in that regard.

But hang on, after posing for a number of photos, he suddenly flies off, chasing a white cabbage butterfly, an interloper in his territory. Then he is back… he settles on the trunk of the grey bark eucalypt in the garden. He looked a little less brown on the tree. Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

It was then I noticed the edges of his wings, a little battered, a little worn. I had read somewhere that they were territorial. Usually hanging around where he had staked his place. Fending off other males of his own species, and even other species of butterflies, as I was privileged to witness.

I realised I was now gazing on him with a loving eye, as I noticed that the white spots had a hint of blue. Then like magic, he jump down to the rim of the empty flower pot below and then put on a display just for me. My Blue Moon Butterfly was back in all his glory… oh how I love the faces of the blue moon…


You can read more about the Common Eggfly Butterfly, aka the Blue Moon Butterfly in our Fauna section: Hypolimnas bolina.