Hong Kong Lepidopterists' Society Events & Activities

Po Lin Monastery to Tung Chung, Lantau Island

field trip on 5th Sept. 1999 for watching the Troides species

Report and photographs by Chi Hung WONG

Organiser: James Young. Participants: Chi-Hung Wong, Jeffrey Yiu, James Young.

            We met at about 8:30am in Tung Chung MTR station and headed off to Po Lin Monastery by bus. On arrival, James made a close inspection on the Salix babylonica (L.), the host plant for Phalanta phalantha (Nymphalidae) which was next to the car park at the Monastery.  He had no luck finding any of the immature stages of the butterfly and we then took the path next to the tea garden for Tung Chung.

Troides aeacus (31253 bytes)             Although we had to walk all the way from the Monastery down to Tung Chung by the sea and part of the path was quite steep, it was not too difficult as it was a cloudy morning. Along the path, James introduced some host plants for butterflies especially plants of the Rutaceae family including Zanthoxylum nitidum (Roxb.) DC and Tetradium glabrifolium (Champ. ex. Bentham) Hartley. The ones that you can easily identify by their strong smell when you crush their leaves. By the way, the scenery at the Fung Wong Shan was magnificent. The peak was partially covered by clouds and made it even looked higher.

            After walking for a while, we saw a few Pachliopta aristolochiae (Papilionidae) flying slowly around us, but they were still too fast for us to taking photographs. We noticed the host plant of the butterfly namely Aristolochia  fordiana (Hemsl.) was everywhere along the path and James found a few larvae chewing away the young foliage of their host.

            The morning was cool and suddenly we saw several Troides aeacus, both male and female, flying over us. Some of them went for the blossoming Zanthoxylum nitidum glowing along the path.

            We were over excited, especially Jeffrey and I as it was our first time to see the wild golden birdwing! As expected, they were much more beautiful than those we saw at the butterfly house of the Ocean Park. We couldn't help taking many photographs on these lovely butterflies. We were all very pleased. While we were taking shots on the butterflies, a few people passed by and showed their sympathy for the butterflies being photographed. We were puzzled what were on their mind. We did not border to ask and after a while we went down further to arrive at Shek Mun Kap where we had our lunch.

Remelana jangala (7000 bytes)             We saw a lot of butterflies including Papilio polytes, Danaus genutia, Euploea midamus, Hypolimnas bolina, Junonia almana, Lethe confusa, Athyma perius and Polyura nepenthes. We were most impressed by two Lycaenids, namely Heliophorus epicles and Remelana jangala.

Heliophorus epicles (10355 bytes)            It was our (Jeffrey & I) first time to see them. They showed very unusual tail movements while feeding side by side on flowering shrubs. James told us Remelana jangala was uncommon and they could seldom be observed so closely.

            We were surely very lucky. Needless to say, we took a lot of photographs. It was very hot as the sun was on top of us. We felt that it was time to go home.


            To conclude, what a great day it was!