Friday, 29 June 2018

Summer Wildlife

While birding is at it's slowest right now, it's a great time to explore the wildlife in Hong Kong. Spend just a little bit of time outdoor and you will find yourself surrounded by various insects (also a lot of mosquitoes), I sat on a rock by the stream and marvelled at half dozens of Common Blue Jewels elegantly dancing around, males are electric blue while females are greenish yellow.

Common Blue Jewel (Rhinocypha perforata) - male

Common Blue Jewel (Rhinocypha perforata) - female

The beautiful Yellow Bush Dart are also quite common, their bright yellow legs certainly pops out by the stream. I also encountered a huge Robber Fly likely of the genus Microstylum, although I am not sure what species exactly.

Yellow Bush Dart (Copera marginipes)

Microstylum sp.

Most of Hong Kong's frogs are nocturnal, but occasionally you will see a few during the day, I spotted a Brown Wood Frog hidden away in a rock crevice by the stream, while a Paddy Frog decided to hop right out to the middle of the road for some reason.

Brown Wood Frog

Paddy Frog

Hot sunny days are perfect for reptiles which like basking in the sun, we have a lot of different skinks species in Hong Kong, and I saw a few of these on the day, including Brown Forest Skink, Indian Forest Skink, Reeve's Smooth Skink and Long-tailed Skink. Brown Forest Skinks and Indian Forest Skinks are quite similar in appearance, having very subtle and different patterns on their sides and back, although one saying is that Brown Forest Skinks are usually found near water while Indian Forest Skinks are found further in the forest, I saw both of these near the stream, so it surely cannot be an accurate way to tell these two apart.

Brown Forest Skink

Indian Forest Skink

Reeve's Smooth Skink

Long-tailed Skink

I also saw a Chinese Forest Skink but it was too quick for me to photograph. A Changeable Lizard though made a great photographic subject, posed for as long as I wanted.

Changeable Lizard

This is also a good season for butterflies, I myself is not a huge butterfly person, but the variety you can find in Hong Kong can be quite staggering. I saw mainly common species such as the Dark-band Bush Brown (Mycalesis mineus), Staff Sergeant (Athyma selenophora) and the White-edged Blue Baron (Euthalia phemius), I saw one butterfly that I did not recognised, as it turns out it was quite a nice find, a female Common Archduke (Lexias pardalis), which is quite a new addition to the Hong Kong butterfly list, only first recorded in 2008, but apparently had been breeding in Hong Kong and now spreading.

Dark-band Bush Brown (Mycalesis mineus)

Staff Sergeant (Athyma selenophora)

White-edged Blue Baron (Euthalia phemius)

Common Archduke (Lexias pardalis)

Although all my Lepidoptera findings were rather down sized by one of Hoiling's encounter, with the amazing Atlas Moth. How envious it made me...although I have seen them before elsewhere, I've never seen one in Hong Kong. They are simply one of the most stunning and majestic looking moth in existence.

Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) - photo credit to Hoiling

Last but not least, more Hainan Blue Flycatchers! They provide birders in Hong Kong great comfort when there are no birds around...

Hainan Blue Flycatcher - male

1 comment:

  1. Those Changeable Lizards are such great poseurs !
    I didn't realise we had so many skinks here - I need to get my "Herp" act together.....