Sunday, May 21, 2017

Butterflies of Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve (Hong Kong) in 2017

It was a yearly affair (last year) for many Hong Kong butterfly enthusiasts - to photograph the Papilio agestor (Tawny Mime) during the month of March and April on a hilltop at Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve.

My first visit this year (in late March this year)  with my usual butterfly-photography group was a disappointing one due to bad weather. However, my second visit on 1 April was rewarding.

I left home early as it was a long journey to Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve. Strolling up to the hilltop leisurely and  after climbing the final 300 steep steps,  I reached the hilltop at noon.  

When the weather is good, this particular location is teeming with life. There were two individual Tawny Mime (Papilio agestor) on this hill top.
A slow-flying butterfly, Tawny Mime tends to perch high on foilage. So the blue sky and the red leaves of another tall tree make the background of this shot colourful.
It usually perched with wings open.  Occasionally, its closed wings posture enticed many of us to line up to photograph it. 
A pleasant surprise visitor greeted us on a fine and warm morning - the Constable (Dichorragia nesimachus). It was my first sighting in Hong Kong.
A different pose for some of us. Shooting it from I stood, unlike from the previous shot, the iridescent blue structural colour of the butterfly scales does not show at all.
The Constable was rather cooperative - it was oblivious to our presence for a long period of time before it decided to stay away from us on a high perch.
In the late afternoon, a Vanessa indica appeared but it preferred to looking at us from a high altitude.
Perhaps due to the hilltopping behaviour, most butterflies liked to perch on above our heads. This White Commodore (Parasarpa dudu) was no exception.
Shady hill slopes shielded us from the overhead scorching sun. While taking a break under shade, I noticed a skipper zipping around erractically. I watited patiently for it to stop and snapped a few quick shots. It looks like the Choaspes benjaminii.
There were a few lycaenids flitting around, the Nacaduba kurva seemed very common on this hilltop.
A mating pair belonging to the Udara species created some excitement amongst the photographers. After a few shots, they decided to stay away from our sights.
The Lethe confusa was abundant. This guy stayed a bit longer on a blade of grass, giving me time to take some shots.
Finally, let me conclude this post with a shot of Argyreus hyperbius - one of my favourite butterflies.


  1. Beautiful butterflies! They are also becoming extinct due to careless cutting of flower plants. I have not seen a single butterfly in years in my area.

  2. As a child I used to catch butterflies, draw them and then release them. Looking at this post has triggered that inne artist again. Maybe this is the kind of change i need in life right now. Thanks for inspiring.

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