Hong Kong Lepidopterists' Society Events & Activities




Field Trip-17 Sept 00

Po Lin Monastery For Museum Of History

Leader: Yiu Vor

Photos: Jeffrey Yiu

Report by: Chi-Hung Wong



            This was the follow-up field trip organised by the Museum of History for those who had attended the Society’s butterfly talk on 22nd July. Over 30 people participated and met in the early morning at the Tung Chung MTR station. The purpose of the trip was to explore the heritage of the HK’s largest butterfly, Troides acecus - the golden birdwing at Po Lin.




            We got on a local bus, arranged by the Museum and off we went to the Po Lin Monastery at the top of Ngong Ping. On arrival, Yiu Vor, HKLS secretary explained the life history of the golden birdwing before we took the path down in the direction of Tung Chung where a large population of the golden birdwing flourished in the vicinity.

Troides aeacus (Male) Troides aeacus (Female)

            With no surprise as if we had planned, a few birdwings were seen flying along the pathway and even above us not frightened by the group. It was a magnificent sight with the massive shiny yellowish hindwings, which could not be mistaken by other butterflies. They were indeed very beautiful and everyone was astonished and shouted out when they first appeared. Besides the beautiful Troides, a few very rare Ypthima motschulskyi (Satyridae) were found also along the way. The vegetation was grand and surely provided a good background for our beautiful butterflies. All participants were surprised to see for themselves rather than to hear and believe that Hong Kong had such lovely butterflies, which they would have thought these butterflies could only be found in the tropical rainforests.

            Along the path, Yiu Vor also identified the host plant for the birdwing, namely Aristolochia fordiana and were lucky to find some caterpillars feeding on the plants as well. 

Mature larva - Troides aeacus Host plant - Aristolochia fordiana

            Though it was hot and a bit tiring for the trip, we felt that it was worthwhile for spending every bit of effort for the trip. On arriving at Shek Mun Kap, we all separated and went home.

            We promised to return in October, another exciting trip planned by the Museum.