Kong Lepidopterists' Society - News
Plead to the Agriculture & Fisheries Department for the
Conservation of mistletoes for Tajuria maculata
14th September, 1999
Members of the Hong Kong Lepidopteristsˇ¦ Society have noticed that there is currently a construction programme in the orchard at your Tai Po Kau Nature Reserves right next to the Reserve headquarters.
The HKLS wishes to draw your attention to the following point of immediate wildlife conservation concern:- the citrus trees in the orchard covered with mistletoes provide the breeding ground for one of Hong Kongˇ¦s rarest butterfly species, namely Tajuria maculata (HEWITSON) ˇV the Spotted Royal (family Lycaenidae).
Even though the butterfly has a vast distribution, it is regarded as a very rare species throughout its range. For Hong Kong, it is extremely rare as indicated by Mr. George Walthew in his paper ˇV The Status and Flight Periods of Hong Kong Butterflies, published in the Newsletter of the Kadoorie Agricultural Research Centre & Hong Kong University, July 1997 issue.
The life history of this species was recently recorded by an HKLS member for the very first time and will be published shortly. The host plants are the mistletoes found in your orchard.
The HKLS hopes you will reassess the needs of your construction programme in relation to the above information and your drastic action is urgently needed to preserve the remaining mistletoes (and hence conserve the only Hong Kong locality for Tajuria maculata) in your orchard. The HKLS notes with dismay that serious devastation has already been done on the citrus trees next to the steps at the entrance of which they were all cut to make way for some new plants.
The HKLS thanks you in advance for your support to preserve and conserve this beautiful butterfly for the public.
Please find enclosed herewith a photograph of Tajuria maculata for your information.
Signed by HKLS
cc Tai Po Kau Nature Reserves