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Butterflies of the Forbidden Kingdom - China

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Old Monday 4th June 2018, 12:41   #51
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These Sichuan Neope's are really hard, never thought it would be this difficult. N.pulahina occurs in Yunnan and Tibet. N.oberthueri and N.dejeani occurs in Sichuan. Infact, all these really almost look the same on the field guide.
My call is on the N.oberthueri given the rusty/ashy combination of the wing coloration.
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Old Sunday 24th June 2018, 09:11   #52
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Sorry Dev, I completey overlooked your last post. Thanks again for looking at photos and I think you must be correct.

there is a little more info in Huang 2002 Satyrids of the tribe Lethini although unfortunately the specimen illustrated is in terrible condition.

Here is a Mycalesis from Labahe and a Skipper from Erland Road that I cant even find a genus for despite its distinctive appearance!

cheers
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Old Sunday 1st July 2018, 14:12   #53
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Hi Dave,

Apologies for the late reply. I just returned from a two week trip in XinJiang.

The mycalesis looks good for M.francisca. Has a very wide distribution except for West China.

The other one is Barca bicolor found in Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Guangdong, Sichuan, Yunnan and Shanxi provinces.
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2018, 15:24   #54
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XinJiang

After 7 years in China, i thought i was ready for XinJiang mostly a scouting trip to see butterflies plus the birds of Western palearctic. Clearly, it was a wrong judgement as i spent most of the time at the police security posts and gas stations. Posts will follow some of the butterflies which i have encountered during this painful trip.
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2018, 15:30   #55
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Apharitis epargyros

Scientific Name : Apharitis epargyros
Chinese Name : 指名富丽灰蝶
Distribution : XinJiang
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Old Wednesday 4th July 2018, 14:24   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirudevaram View Post
Scientific Name : Apharitis epargyros
Chinese Name : 指名富丽灰蝶
Distribution : XinJiang
That's a stunner, didn't see that one in Sichuan.
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Old Wednesday 4th July 2018, 14:31   #57
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Dev
Many thanks for taking the time to look at my photos. I suspected the Mycalesis would be francisca, was very common in Vietnam also.

Very pleased with the skipper det, i could not get anywhere with that one.

Here is another Skipper, I'm sure it is Parnara presumably ganga, bada or apostata but online images more confusing than helpful, probably because as many are misidentified as correctly named.

And a Pierid that I am quite sure is Pieris canidia

cheers
Dave
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Old Monday 9th July 2018, 06:29   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirudevaram View Post
After 7 years in China, i thought i was ready for XinJiang mostly a scouting trip to see butterflies plus the birds of Western palearctic. Clearly, it was a wrong judgement as i spent most of the time at the police security posts and gas stations. Posts will follow some of the butterflies which i have encountered during this painful trip.
I was there as part of a birdwatching group in May and it was utterly horrendous. On the worst day I had my passport checked 7 times. The final time I was dragged off the street into the nearest police station having just checked into the only hotel in town that allows foreigners to stay where my passport had already been checked by both the police and public security.

Most (but certainly not all) of the officials we met were pleasant enough, they simply didn't know what to do with five westerners.

It was also difficult getting accurate information about which towns, roads and areas were open to foreigners.

It was once my favourite part of China and I'd previously spent a total of 12 weeks there without any serious hassle. I will never return.

For anyone thinking of going - don't - you will spend more time in police stations than in the field.
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Old Friday 13th July 2018, 06:07   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirudevaram View Post
Scientific Name : Apharitis epargyros
Chinese Name : 指名富丽灰蝶
Distribution : XinJiang
Beautiful specimen. Thank you for sharing.
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Old Friday 13th July 2018, 06:09   #60
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Hot of the plate. April 8th started with our regular spring watch, only to be detained by the Police at the XiaoYangshan Port island, well they thought i was there to bomb the port and disrupt the trade route. After 90 minutes of Same Questions/Same answers routine, they let us go. The cop told me in his tattered English "Go back Shanghai, See bird in Century Park".

It was of any coincidence, two years ago, i had the major passage of "Asian Swallowtails" (9 April 2016). And two years later, we had another big passage just 24 hours ahead of the previous sighting (8th April 2018).

It was good to see massive no's of Swallowtails but our butterfly of the day is the "Chinese Hairstreak". We saw only two individuals, they were seen most of the time on the new leaf buds as it seemed they were feeding on them.

Common Name : Chinese Hairstreak
Scientific Name : Amblopala avidiena
Chinese Name : 丫灰蝶
Distribution : Shaanxi, Hunan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian
Nice specimen.
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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 05:49   #61
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Dev
Many thanks for taking the time to look at my photos. I suspected the Mycalesis would be francisca, was very common in Vietnam also.

Very pleased with the skipper det, i could not get anywhere with that one.

Here is another Skipper, I'm sure it is Parnara presumably ganga, bada or apostata but online images more confusing than helpful, probably because as many are misidentified as correctly named.

And a Pierid that I am quite sure is Pieris canidia

cheers
Dave
Hi David,

The Hesp. looks good for P.ganga and you were spot on with P.canidia
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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 05:58   #62
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Originally Posted by Paul Leader View Post
I was there as part of a birdwatching group in May and it was utterly horrendous. On the worst day I had my passport checked 7 times. The final time I was dragged off the street into the nearest police station having just checked into the only hotel in town that allows foreigners to stay where my passport had already been checked by both the police and public security.

Most (but certainly not all) of the officials we met were pleasant enough, they simply didn't know what to do with five westerners.

It was also difficult getting accurate information about which towns, roads and areas were open to foreigners.

It was once my favourite part of China and I'd previously spent a total of 12 weeks there without any serious hassle. I will never return.

For anyone thinking of going - don't - you will spend more time in police stations than in the field.
I can totally understand the frustration, Paul. The only thing, i dint go through is the cavity check. A dark guy with a beard is easy picking for them. At Altai, cops tried to install a tracking software on my phone. When it dint work, they called me every hour to give them my location. Because of this constant harassment, i left Altai on the next day.
At Bole, i was surrounded by a dozen cops and one of them told me to shave off my beard right infront of him.

As you said, i will never return.
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Old Sunday 15th July 2018, 06:01   #63
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Beautiful specimen. Thank you for sharing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
Nice specimen.
Glad, you like them. Will post couple more, soon.
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Old Monday 16th July 2018, 08:41   #64
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Many thanks Dev

Two more from Longcanggou, fairly confident of my dets, although I know Symbrenthia is a very tricky genus.

Callarge occidentalis
Symbrenthia brabira


cheers
dave
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Old Friday 20th July 2018, 14:44   #65
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Hi David,

The first one was a real head ache and it is still. The field guide doesn't list C. occidentalis but C.sagitta. Wiki says occidentalis is a form of C.sagitta. so, its upto to you to pick a side.

Seconded the S.brabira
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Old Friday 20th July 2018, 16:51   #66
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Thanks Dev

by "the field guide" I presume you mean Wu Chunsheng & Hsu Yufeng 2017 Butterflies of China (4 volume set)?

I am surprised this massive work does not even list name, even if only as a synonym. I am going by this taxonomy which treats the two taxa as separate species. As you can see both were described by Leech in the same year, astonishingly in different genera! I suspect something wrong here, given that Callarge was apparently not coined till 2 years later! I will go with occidentalis as the taxon described from Sichuan.

Next two
Lethe christophi Longcanggou 19 May 2018
Colias fieldii Rouergai 23 May 2018

Both from notoriously difficult genera, but in both cases det fairly convincing. Hope you agree?

cheers
Dave
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Old Saturday 21st July 2018, 13:44   #67
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Hi David,

I don't want to get into the pandora box. Here is a paper from 2008, I can't make heads or tails of it, not the language but the taxonomy is too complicated for my simple mind.

Atleast, one thing i can figure is occidentalis is a subspecies of C.sagitta, that's why it's not covered in the Butterflies of China by Wu Chunsheng & Hsu Yufeng. That's what i referred earlier as well, i err'd by saying field guide (cough)


Agreed on both counts for L.christophi and C.fieldii.
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Old Saturday 21st July 2018, 13:53   #68
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Species No.23 : Woodland Brown

Another one from XinJiang. Saw it next to a small stream enroute to Hemu Village.

Common Name : Woodland Brown
Scientific Name : Lopinga achine
Chinese Name : 黄环链眼蝶
Distribution : Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Gansu

Surprisingly the handbook doesn't include XinJiang.
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Old Saturday 21st July 2018, 17:51   #69
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Again many thanks for confirmation.

These next "two" species are confusing, a more parsimonious conclusion would be that they are male and female of a single species, but I found fairly reliable literature about the genus and they appear, from that source, to be two species.

Sinopieris venata Baxi 24 May 2018
Sinopieris stoetzneri Baxi 24 May 2018
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Old Monday 30th July 2018, 15:42   #70
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I concur with your ID. venata occurs in Sichuan and Gansu, stoetzneri in Sichuan and Yunnan.
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Old Tuesday 31st July 2018, 11:01   #71
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Well, since you asked...

This is a pair of butterflies I photographed this weekend at the South China Botanical Garden in Guangzhou. I apologize for the poor quality of the photo, it was taken on the wing as these two would simply not stop fluttering around each other. I hope you can make something of it.

I was photographing some dragonflies at the time and have no field guide to butterflies, so am at something of a loss.

Thanks for looking,

Russ
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Old Wednesday 1st August 2018, 13:49   #72
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They look like Elymnias hypermnestra, Common Palmfly to me.
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Old Thursday 2nd August 2018, 17:53   #73
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I concur with your ID. venata occurs in Sichuan and Gansu, stoetzneri in Sichuan and Yunnan.
Many thanks Dev

These next two include a Coenonympha that does not fit anything I can find, but probably a form of amaryllis and a Lycanid that I am sure must be Cupido argiades?

0415 Coenonympha cf. amaryllis nr. Jiuzhaigou 26 May 2018.
0426 Cupido argiades Jiuzhaigou 26 May 2018

cheers
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 14:06   #74
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They look like Elymnias hypermnestra, Common Palmfly to me.
Agreed!
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 14:09   #75
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Many thanks Dev

These next two include a Coenonympha that does not fit anything I can find, but probably a form of amaryllis and a Lycanid that I am sure must be Cupido argiades?

0415 Coenonympha cf. amaryllis nr. Jiuzhaigou 26 May 2018.
0426 Cupido argiades Jiuzhaigou 26 May 2018

cheers
Dave
Hi Dave,

This one's very tricky and as you said it does not fit anything and the closest one is amaryllis. Agreed with the argiades ID, has a very wide distribution and i do see them in Shanghai from time to time.
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