Hong Kong Lepidopterists' Society Events & Activities

Butterfly-Watching in the Philippines  

Bulacan & Mt. Makiling, Luzon  Sept, 2003 


Ping Chung LEE


Our destination

The Municipality of Dona Remedios Trinidad (DRT), Province of Bulacan, Luzon is about 60km north of Metro Manila. It covers a total land area of 93,296 hectares making it the largest town in the province of Bulacan, of which 65% is forest reserve. There are two pronounced seasons, the dry season from December to May and the wet season from June to November. The average annual temperature ranges from 25C to 28C. Its average annual humidity ranges from 74% to 78%. Agriculture is the main industry and most of the residents are upland farmers.
The Mayor, Ms. Evelyn M. Paulino wishes to have a butterfly survey for her township. Through our friend Lydia, we were invited to see the place.

We started off on 22nd September for a two days tour.

Day 1  

We arrived late in Manila and retired to the hotel after dinner.

Day 2  

The Mayor sent a jeep to pick us up at early 7 am. There was a long delay due to the bad Manila traffic and we arrived late in the morning of the Mayor's office. After some chat, we started the day with a trip  to the Verdivia Waterfalls at Bgy. Talbak. 


The waterfall Papilio daedalus daedalus Felder & Felder, 1861

We were greeted by a beautiful green papilio - Papilio daedalus. Even if  I used the continuous shutter,  I managed only 3 shots before it flew away. During its stay, it only flapped its wings slightly allowing only a glimpse of the beautiful brilliant green upper surface. Next we saw a Danaid (Danaus melanippus edmondii Lesson, 1837) looking like a Danaus genutia Cramer, 1779 with the orange colour replaced by white. Some Satyrids and Lycaenids were also seen. 

Danaus melanippus edmondii Lesson, 1837 Ypthima sempera chaboras Fruhstorfer, 1911
Ypthima stellera stellera Eschscholtz, 1821 Catochrysops panormus exiguus Distant, 1886
Prosotas nora semperi Fruhstorfer, 1916
Discolampa ethion ulysses Staudinger, 1889 Anthene lycaenina villosina Fruhstorfer, 1923
Allotinus spp. P.C. Lee & J. J. Young

There were no proper paths and we had to wade across the stream many times. At first we took off our boots and socks. But after several crossings, our soles were so painful from the sands and stones of the streambed that we finally gave up and put them back. There was nothing much to be seen in the later part of the trip. We turned back after we took a glimpse of the waterfall in the distance. We had a great dinner and slept in the Mayor's house. Thanks to our hospitable Mayor.  

Day 3  

We started by going to Sitio Parungao by the green house. It was only walking distance from the Mayor's house. There we saw some Satyrids, several Lycaenids, dull hesperiids, an orange Nymphal and a Delias. We took some shots and left for the reserve by jeep. A little bit of walking was required and we were greeted with some wonderful butterflies including some Lycaenids, a very transparent Danaid, another one with brilliant blue on the upper forewings, several magnificent skippers and a sortie of Satyrids and Nymps. We took a lot of photos just to make sure some came out good. After another sumptous lunch at the Mayor's house, the rain poured down and we started early for the three hour trip back to Manila.

Delias henningia henningia Eschscholtz, 1821 Gerosis corona corona Semper, 1892

Euploea tulliolus pollita Erichson, 1834 - (male)

Jamides bochus herodicus Fruhstorfer, 1916 - (male & female)
Lasippa illigera illigera Eschscholtz, 1821

Parantica vitrina vitrina Felder & Felder, 1861

Pantoporia dama dama Moore, 1858

Phaedyma columella eremita Felder & Felder, 1867
Tarratia gutama gutama Moore, 1858
Tagiades parra parra Fruhstorfer, 1910 Tarratia gutama gutama Moore, 1858

Zethera pimplea Erichson, 1834 - (male)

Zethera pimplea Erichson, 1834 - (female)

We had a good meal and went to bed early because we would be going to Mt. Makiling early next morning.

Day 4  

We got up at 6:00am and started our journey to Mt. Makiling.  When we arrived at the Botanic garden, we were stunned by the crowd there. It was picnic day and the area was packed with students. So we went to the Mud Spring instead. We rode a jeepney uphill and when we alighted, it started to rain cats and dogs. We waited until the rain stopped and wandered downhill. We did not see many butterflies, and those we saw were common.  Nevertheless, we still took many photographs. 

Faunis phaon carfinia Fruhstorfer, 191

Acrophtalmia artemis artemis Felder & Felder, 1861

Koruthaialos rubecula luzonensis Fruhstorfer, 1910
Tanaecia calliphorus calliphorus Felder, 1863 Rhinopalpa polynice stratonice Felder & Felder, 1867
Mycalesis kashiwaii pula Aoki & Uémura, 1982
Papilio alphenor ledebouria Eschscholtz, 1821 - (female)

We went to the Botanic garden afterwards and were disappointed not to see any butterflies. We left early for the airport in anticipation of the heavy traffic on the return to Manila. We made it to the check-in counter with just barely  an hour before our flight took off  for Hong Kong.