Butterflies of Sumatra

General Background

Technical Background

Why is BelizeHank bringing you Butterflies of Sumatra?

BelizeHank worked in Sumatra, Indonesia with Dr. Susan Mikota on our project to improve the healthcare and conservation of the endangered Sumatran elephants.  Our project website is www.elephantcare.org   We worked in Sumatra under the auspices of WWF-Indonesia.

Ironically, elephants provide a natural resource that is a strong attractant for
butterflies - namely elephant dung and urine.  As a result, I was able to collect a small portfolio of butterfly images. 

The images were all been taken under natural conditions, most with available light (not flash).  This preserves the full color range of the butterflies and avoids the washed-out look often accompanying flash photography. 
Many images were taken from as close as 1-3 inches from the living butterfly.

The vast majority of these images were taken at the elephant camp near Minas, Riau district and in Pekanbaru.

All images have been taken with the Nikon Coolpix 990, primarily using macro mode.   This yields a 7.9 megabyte file and an image of 2048 x 1360 pixels.  Image sizes are reduced here to both thumbnails and 500 pixel max dimension size, for faster Internet loading. 

Extensive scientific research on Sumatran butterflies has already been done.  Much of this has been consolidated in a series of books available through

The Heterocera Sumatrana Society


 However, this may be the first Internet presentation specifically of the Butterflies of Sumatra.   I have been inspired by Yong Hoi-Sen, author of Malaysian Butterflies - an introduction, and by  Khew Sin Khoon, who has created the excellent Butterflies of Singapore website. 

Note: I have been informed that there is a Japanese site on Sumatran butterflies and will try and post a link soon.


I caution that I am only an amateur with limited resources for identifying these butterflies,
so all
identifications should be treated cautiously
  I will be attempting to improve the
technical identifications through future collaboration with colleagues in Indonesia
and through  The Heterocera Sumatrana Society.

Special Note Aug. 2004:  I owe considerable thanks to another amateur, Roger Grund of Australia,
for adding to and correcting many of the butterfly names originally posted here.  Roger  collected in Singapore over several years some 30 years ago.   The authority he used was Eliot/Corbet
(Malay Peninsula Butterflies) and a few other websites. 

Sumatran Butterfly Gallery Index  Gallery 1  Gallery 2  Gallery 3
Butterfly Life Cycle  Moths of Sumatra 
Background Information
Other Galleries  Table of Contents


Images copyright 1999-2004 by BelizeHank

Website creation, design, and copyright  1999-2003 by BelizeHank.   Images copyright 2002-03 by Belizehank -
 permission granted to students to use images for non-published purposes.  All other rights reserved.