Saturday, March 11, 2017

Butterflies of Lamma Island (南丫島), Hong Kong

The Y-shaped Lamma island, the third largest island of Hong Kong is siutatued in the southwest of Hong Kong island.  It is just a 30-mimute ferry ride from Aberdeen harbour. My first visit to the island was in March last year (2016). Since then  I have visited the island quite a number of times, usually accompanying my friends to hike there and at the same time looking for butterflies.

The Abisara echerius (Plum-Judy) is rather common. I usually saw them flitting from leaf to leaf and occasionally puddling on the ground.

Faunis eumeus is new to me. So I was determined to stalk this guy when I spotted it last March along the boardwalk at  the Sok Kwu Wan (索罟灣) jetty.
After awhile, I relised that this is a rather common butterfly. I could see quite a number of them feeding on the ground, usually in the shade. However, this mating pair was exceptional, they preferred to have their privacy high on the tree.
While taking a slow hike from the ferry terminal from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan,  I encountered many common butterflies feeding on the Bidens flowers on a grass patch. This is a Common Blue Bottle (Graphium sarpedon) showing off its magnificent upper sides. 
The Ixias pyrene was never an easy target for photography - it was alert, highly sensitive to our movement and seldom remained on the flowers for long.
Another common butterfly, a female Papilio polytes (Common Mormon).
A Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe) was flitting around and visiting flowers along the road side.
A rather small and inconspicuous butterfly, this Lesser Grass Blue (Zizina otis) loved the Bidens flowers too.
I usually walked up to the peak of a mountain on the left side of the Sok Kwu Wan. I remember this Iroata timoleon was shot in July the moment I reached the peak.
There were a lot more butterfly species in the Summar in Lamma Island. A relatively rare Mahathala America was taken at a cemetery area.
A handsome male Argyreus hyperbius was found at the hilltop sunbathing.
His undersides are less colourful but the patterns of the markings are nice and pleasing to the eyes.
This is a male Colour Sergeant (Athyma nefte) at the foothill.
 A female was nearby too.
The Chilades lajus was quite abundant in summer. 
 At the same location as the C. lajus,  a lethargic dark and small skipper presented a nice perch on a blade of grass in front of me - this is a Astictopterus jama.
Not a very cooperative guy, the Athyma selenophora teased me a few times with a few perches on the foliage - but each time it didn't give me sufficient time to get a better shot.
This Ypthima lisandra rested on a wooden step - the steps were rather useful for hikers especially on wet  days.
Not sure what this moth is - but it is pristine enough for me to take a shot for any expert out there to identify it.
I remember I saw a large colony of  Obeidia tigrata (Orange Magpie Moth) in March and April but very few of them in other months.

There are some other areas in Lamma Island, especially the southern and the northern parts I have not explored. Hopefully there are other species of butterflies waiting for me to find out this year.