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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Butterflies in Hong Kong (1)

Hong Kong’s sub-tropical climate and warm winter (average annual temperature is 23℃) provide a perfect environment for insects, especially butterflies. Hong Kong is home to more than 240 butterfly species and many of them are very colourful. Today, I will  introduce two types of butterfly to you.
Ten butterfly families can be found in Hong Kong. The most common one is the Swallowtail family (Papilionidae). This family of butterflies mainly live in tropical areas and there are 23 species recorded in HK.  

Because the adults have tailed hindwings, similar to the forked tail of some swallows, they earned the name Swallowtail.  They feed mainly on nectar and often come out on sunny days. So if you happen to visit HK, you will have a good chance seeing them fly around city gardens and country parks.
The one above and on the right is one of the Swallowtail family members, called Great Mormon. It is a very large butterfly and the wing span is about 12-15cm (4.7-5.9in). The female is more colourful , while the male is mainly black or dark blue. The one shown here is a female.


This one on the left and below is called Paris Peacock. Its size is smaller than Great Mormon, with wing span of 8-10cm ( 3.1-3.9in).  












Unlike Great Mormon, Its wings are covered with green scales scattered over a black background, very distinctive.

5 comments:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

These butterflies are beautiful but your Lantern Bg is spectacular.

Anthony Dixon said...

Fantastic blog with some beautiful photographs.
I will be following closely to learn more about the wildlife of Hong Kong.

Claudia said...

Wonderful!

Сергей Ларин said...

Thanks for the name for the butterfly I liked.

Sebastian Svensson said...

I saw a male Great Mormon today in Mong Kok, on the Ladies market! First I thought it was a toy, but realized it wasn't :) It flew around the same spot between two buildings for about 15 minutes, it was a great site.