Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taiwan Lepidoptera.

Taiwan Lepidoptera. That is - Taiwan Butterflies and Moths.

Friends of mine will be aware I have fallen somewhat for butterflies and moths in the last few years. Heartfelt thanks to the individuals (you know who you are) responsible for sparking my interest.

Taiwan is a superb place for enjoying all sorts of insects. I have been slowly adding and organizing photos to this album Taiwan Butterflies, and here Taiwan Moths.

Taiwan has:
115 species of Lycaenidae (灰蝶科, Gossamer-winged)
67 species of Hesperiidae (弄蝶科 Skipper)
36 species of Pieridae (粉蝶科 Whites and Sulphurs)
137 species of Nymphalidae (蛺蝶科 Brush-footed)
37 species of Papilionidae (鳳蝶科 Swallowtail)

An absolutely excellent site for images of Taiwanese butterflies (in various stages) following this classification is vel.cc The main text is in Chinese but still very usable by all. On the main page click on the butterfly icon or the characters 圖鑑 to bring you into the main family index. This link http://vel.cc/t.asp?oattr=0 should lead to a superb main visual index page. The red link on the top left is to species that still need photos - not many!

I hope, one day, my images will be sorted like this http://www.flickr.com/photos/bettaman/collections/72157622429540627/

An interesting effort by the [Taiwan] National Museum of Natural Science to help butterfly identification, http://digimuse.nmns.edu.tw/butterfly/

The Taiwan butterfly checklist. May 2011 pdf from the Butterfly Conservation Society of Taiwan.
Field Guides:
Nothing great in English yet. These Chinese-language books have excellent photos and scientific names, and have proved very useful to non Chinese-reading clients.
For insects in general, this set of two books are excellent.
A small pocket-sized guide to the top 133 butterfly species. http://www.booksfromtaiwan.com/index.php/common-taiwan-butterflies.html
The most comprehensive Taiwan butterfly field guide. http://www.booksfromtaiwan.com/index.php/butterflies-of-taiwan.html

If you have further advice (or need advice), email me, Richard, at barkingdeerinfo@gmail.com Also, I delighted to get out my binoculars, camera, and mercury vapor lights for any feeble reason. Tours all round the Butterfly Kingdom!

Images above:Troides magellanus from Vel.cc
Ailanthus silkmoth (Samia cynthia) a saturniid moth. Wingspan of 120 mm.