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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Interesting Spiders

In addition to the insects, spiders thrive on the hot weather too. Even some of the common Jumping Spiders are colourful. 

I think the prettiest ones are the Lynx Spiders

The Lynx Spiders usually have long legs, and like most of the Jumping Spiders, they are hunters and do not make webs.

However, their eyesight is not as good as that of Jumping Spiders but their eyes are located around the head giving them close to 360 degrees of view. 

The long legs enable them not only to run fast but also to jump on prey like a cat, which earned them the common name, Lynx Spiders. Very often they can catch prey much bigger than themselves, such as this Wasp Moth. 

However, the most impressively sized spiders have to be the Golden Silk orb-weaver Spider

In addition to the size, their gangetic webs are so big and strong that some are used for fishing. It is not a surprise that butterflies are regularly on their menu. 

Occasionally, however, spiders can fall victim to tiny ants too. 

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Sunday, 19 August 2012

Strange Looking Insects

The hot insect season never fails to surprise me.

I was amazed to witness how tolerant some of the Lantern Bugs were towards fellow regulars on the citrus fruit tree trunk, while they were trying to take a break. 

Praying Mantises are abundant here but this one is exceptionally small (about 3-4cm) and unusually alien looking.

Its tiny size and well camouflaged colour make it almost invisible in the grass. 

In fact it is a Jeweled Flower Mantis (or Asian Flower Mantis), one of the smallest mantis species in South and Southeast Asia. The adult is usually in brown or green colour with funny looking eyes. This one is a juvenile and the undeveloped wings are just visible above its middle legs.

This one is a little bit older and the brown wings are beginning to emerge.

Like other mantis species, the Jeweled Flower Mantis feed on insects but only the ones attracted to flower nectar or pollen. I guess that is how it earned its name. Its unusual appearance and interesting behaviour make it a very popular pet.

I also find the appearance of Assassin Bugs interesting too. From behind, it is no different from other true bugs. 

With a closer look you can see its scary long needle like “mouth”  which is lethal to prey when it injects poisonous saliva inside them. Apparently the saliva can dissolve the inside organs of its prey which are then sucked out. Actually some of them can even attack humans and suck blood from the wound.

Unlike most of the bugs, the Assassin Bug can remain hidden and still for a long time while waiting for its victims, and then strike a sudden lethal blow. Its name tells all.

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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Moths in Hong Kong

While searching for butterflies, I have also found that the moths in Hong Kong are surprisingly colourful too. In fact there are about 2200 species recorded in Hong Kong so far, which is almost 10 times more than the number of butterfly species.
     I have managed to photograph just over a dozen types this summer. Unfortunately not all of them are named. Any suggestions for identification would be 

Abraxas illuminata 

Amata germana (Wasp Moth) 

Corymica arnearia 

Pingasa rubicaunda  

Retina rubrivitta


Trypanophora semihyalina 

Obeidia tigrata(Leopard Looper moth) 

Micronia aculeata 

Scopula limboundata (Large Lace-border)

Dysphania militaris (False Tiger Moth)

Lyssa zampa (Tropical Swallowtail Moth)-- a giant, wingspan up 16cm 

Unidentified A