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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






John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

These moths are much more colorful than our dull drab moths. Or perhaps I've mistaken the colorful ones for butterflies.

Bonnie K said...

Is everything in Hong Kong so magical? I love every one of them. How amazing nature is. Thank you for sharing. I so enjoy your blog.

Giga said...

Niesamowite, ćmy są takie kolorowe u Was. Kształtem jednak wygrywa jednak nie kolorowa, ale biała. Pozdrawiam.
Unusual, colorful moths are with you. Shape of the winner but not colored, but white. Yours.

YTSL said...

Nice photos! Some of the moths are so colorful I mistook them for butterflies until I Googled and found IDs for them!

Bob Bushell said...

Sorry I can't give you the ID on such are beauties.

ireminisces said...

Wonderful creation of God..

Steve said...

Cool moths. Impresionantes diseños! La naturaleza la artista maestra.


Unknown said...

Lovely moths! Just beginning to observe and ID in Northeast US. Thank you for sharing the beauty around you!

john said...

Wow, those are some incredible moths. Our local Alaska moths are few and far between most of the time. The moths we do have tend to be shades of grey, and about 1cm in length.
The towns of Mindo, and Baeza in Ecuador are the places with some amazing quantities and diversity of colorful moths.

Linda said...

Terrific work here.... just great!!

Carol said...

Stunning photography of truly remarkable creatures! Fabulous blog . . . it is great to see all of your butterfly and moth species. What a lovely way to connect places and peoples of the world . . . through our shared love of our natural world. Thank you!

Irma said...

Beautiful series of butterflies.
Greetings Irma

TexWisGirl said...

wow! these are fabulous! what a great variety!

Danielle v/d Horst said...

Heel aparte vlinders die ik nog nooit gezien heb dank je wel groetjes Danielle

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Wow, these are really amazing! The first yellow moth with the notched wings almost looks like it's a leaf. I really enjoy seeing these unusual insects.

Marco Luijken said...

what a fantastic shots you show here!! Really amazing!!
Some of them are so special with beautiful shapes and great colors. It's really enjoyment to see!!

Greetings, Marco

Helma said...

WOW!! What a beautiful day and moths Friend of HK! 1 Dezae beautiful butterflies I've never seen. It seems that with you or in Hong Kong colored butterflies are much nicer than ours.

Warmest regards, Helma

Adriano said...


Wonderful butterflies, I love!


Good week my Friend!

Pablo R.Albalá said...

Apasionante la belleza de estos insectos. Saludos

Magia da Inês said...

Bom fim de semana!

Roy said...

Such amazing colours HK.

hkmoths said...

Please can you add these moth observations to the Hong Kong Moths Recording Project ( on iNaturalist?
(you can sign in with your Facebook account, and add via

Identifications are as follows:
1. your "Abraxas illuminata" is either A. illuminata or Abraxas amicula. Unfortunately there is too much overlapping variation in adults of these two species to be sure as to which is which. The larvae are diagnostic.
2. your "Amata germana" is Amata polymita, a little worn, but sufficiently distinctive to be sure - the wing veins are orange-yellow, not dark brown.
3. correct
4. your Pingasa rubicaunda is the more common Pingasa ruginaria (wet season form) - note the wide terminal band zones to both fore and hind wings
5 to 7. correct, though one could use any verncular name one wants as there is no international governing body for "common" names of fauna (cf. the International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature for scientific names of animals)
8. your "Micronia aculeata" is Acropteris ciniferaria, which is a similar species, previously overlooked and mistaken for M. aculeata - note the medial "band" on the hindwing meets the h/w dorsum roughly centrally rather than at the tornus (anal angle)
9. Scopula limboundata is a North American species. In HK there is a complex of similar looking Scopula species, some of which are awaiting formal scientific description (and thus a scientific binomial). The one in your photo is in the lacriphaga species complex.
10 & 11. correct

A - Barsine striata (Erebidae, Arctiinae, Lithosiini)
B - Zeheba aureata (Geometridae, Ennominae)
c - Mimeusemia sp. (Noctuidae, Agaristinae) - intruiging; might be something not yet documented for Hong Kong !
D - Chalcosia sp., probably C. nympha (Zygaenidae, Chalcosiinae)
E - Sarobides inconclusa (Erebidae, Boletobiinae)