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Butterflies of the Forbidden Kingdom - China

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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 04:40   #1
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Butterflies of the Forbidden Kingdom - China

It's been over two years since i have started to show some interest in butterflies and it was not an easy start. Without any field guide in English and very less reference material over the wide web, it was a bumpy start from the beginning.
With over 1400+ species, butterflies of China can be really an intimidating task to ID each and every species encountered with almost 60% of species doesn't have a common name yet.
I don't think there will be a field guide available in the future (or at all) in English. The bottom line of this thread, is to create a digital footprint for the butterflies of China.

So, if anyone visits China and clicked some flutters, feel free to post it here. My posts will be mainly from Shanghai and surrounding provinces..
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 05:17   #2
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Pale Grass blue (Pseudozizeeria maha)

Starting with the most abundant butterfly in East China. As the palearctic winter is cold which doesn't suit the butterflies. So November- March is a no butterfly season in East China except for few individuals fluttering around during warm days in February.

Pale Grass Blue is found literally everywhere, once in my office in 16th floor and the other time in the barber shop.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 05:24   #3
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Small White (Pieris rapae)

Another Common species, mostly abundant during spring-summer. The numbers drop down after summer with only few around in autumn.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 05:27   #4
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Asian Comma (Polygonia c-aureum)

Widely known as the Urban butterfly, found in huge no's along the coast during spring and autumn.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 05:30   #5
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Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Mostly seen during migration along the coast in good no's. Also found inland at various elevation and habitats.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 05:34   #6
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Indian Red Admiral (Vanessa indica)

Another migrant along the coast also some resident population. A very good food resource for flycatchers.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 05:39   #7
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Peablue or Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus)

Another common species, mostly abundant during autumn (September-November). Easily distinguished from other blues by the size difference.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 05:45   #8
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Asian Swallowtail (Papilio xuthus)

I have seen it only during migration (March-April & September-October). Another coastal migrant as i have hardly seen them in the city parks.
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 05:57   #9
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Eastern Pale clouded Yellow (Colias erate)

Abundant in spring-summer, no's eventually decrease to few individuals during autumn.
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 06:03   #10
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Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe)

This one's pretty scarce or often overlooked. I have seen it only in one occasion in Shanghai. Other than pretty much common country side butterfly (Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Anhui etc).
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 06:07   #11
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Tongeia filicaudis

Very less along the coast during spring/summer but abundant during autumn. Often seen with the Pale grass blue.
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 06:14   #12
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Common Straight Swift (Parnara guttata)

Mostly abundant in Autumn (my another barbershop tick).
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 08:02   #13
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Excellent stuff,but with 1400 sp still a way to go.

I will be in Sichuan in May and Butterflies will be up there with birds and mammals for me.

The first thing I would do is compile a checklist, have you done this?

There is a book on the butterflies of china, but not in English and 500, not got it but may have to if I cant borrow one.

Have you any contacts with Lepidoptera specialists in China? In Vietnam I managed to identify 97 species with help from a resident expert.

Would be good to post photos in such a manner that they can be used as an identification resource.

keep posting
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 08:34   #14
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Excellent stuff,but with 1400 sp still a way to go.


There is a book on the butterflies of china, but not in English and 500, not got it but may have to if I cant borrow one.


Dave

Which begs the question of Thirudevarum, what are you using as an ID resource?


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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 08:41   #15
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Hi Dave,


I recently got the 4 volume "Butterflies of China" handbook. I guess, this is what you mentioned? This book costs bit less in China (300 pounds). It has been extremely helpful even though it's in Chinese, it also comes with the checklist.

My friend is also going on tour to Sichuan in May(Birdtour Asia) and also keen on getting some nice butterflies.

Hongkong has a very active lepidopterist society but i personally don't know any one.

Good luck with the trip. Looking forward to see some of your butterflies from Sichuan.
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 08:43   #16
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Andy, Dave Here is my handbook "Butterflies of China". Except the latin names, the book is in complete chinese.
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 08:54   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirudevaram View Post
I recently got the 4 volume "Butterflies of China" handbook. I guess, this is what you mentioned? This book costs bit less in China (300 pounds). It has been extremely helpful even though it's in Chinese, it also comes with the checklist.
Very interesting, do you think it might be available at that price in Hong Kong? How otherwise might I get a copy from China?

Does this book have maps, ie is it possible for a non Chinese reader to work out which species known from Sichuan?

cheers
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 10:20   #18
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Andy, Dave Here is my handbook "Butterflies of China". Except the latin names, the book is in complete chinese.
Wow, I'd like to get my hands on that too.

I'm searching and all I can find is this

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/B...an%3Dchunsheng



A

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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 10:41   #19
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Wow, I'd like to get my hands on that too.

I'm searching and all I can find is this

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/B...an%3Dchunsheng



A
This is the one here
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 12:09   #20
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This is the one here

Thanks, it's the only one listed too.



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Old Wednesday 18th October 2017, 06:11   #21
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Very interesting, do you think it might be available at that price in Hong Kong? How otherwise might I get a copy from China?

Does this book have maps, ie is it possible for a non Chinese reader to work out which species known from Sichuan?

cheers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Wow, I'd like to get my hands on that too.

I'm searching and all I can find is this

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/B...an%3Dchunsheng



A
Initially, I tried to find it in the Shanghai book store and Xinhua book store but they don't have and they could not locate it using the ISBN no as well. So, i went through some trouble and ordered it online(That's taobao, only in Chinese and they don't do overseas shipping).. So I'm not sure if you will find it any HK bookstore.

Eventhough, the illustrations are very elaborate, the book doesn't have distribution maps but the range is given in description. It took a while for me to memorize the province names in Chinese. It doesn't stop there, sometimes the range is mentioned as "South of Qinling mountains" , "South of Yangtze river" - these kind of range descriptions are often makes me frown for not pursuing to learn Mandarin.

There is also no mention of subspecies or i haven't figured that out yet. The illustrations are of samples collected from different provinces but i'm not sure that will qualify them as a diff ssp.
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Old Wednesday 18th October 2017, 09:13   #22
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Initially, I tried to find it in the Shanghai book store and Xinhua book store but they don't have and they could not locate it using the ISBN no as well. So, i went through some trouble and ordered it online(That's taobao, only in Chinese and they don't do overseas shipping).. So I'm not sure if you will find it any HK bookstore.

Eventhough, the illustrations are very elaborate, the book doesn't have distribution maps but the range is given in description. It took a while for me to memorize the province names in Chinese. It doesn't stop there, sometimes the range is mentioned as "South of Qinling mountains" , "South of Yangtze river" - these kind of range descriptions are often makes me frown for not pursuing to learn Mandarin.

There is also no mention of subspecies or i haven't figured that out yet. The illustrations are of samples collected from different provinces but i'm not sure that will qualify them as a diff ssp.
Hmm, sounds difficult, a saving of 225 well worth making an effort for though.

Sounds like it would be very difficult to extract a checklist for Sichuan from this book without reading Chinese.
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 11:05   #23
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Chinese Peacock (Papilio bianor)

A recent addition to my Shanghai list. Seen earlier this year in April for the first time. A mega sized individual posed for a lengthy time in the early morning hours before the sun came up.
So far this has been the "Top Butterfly" of the patch.

Also, the "Butterfly Valley" in the XiaoYangshan island. This place has been less productive over the years for birds but has totally yielded some very nice butterflies.
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 11:09   #24
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Red ring Skirt (Hestina assimilis)

Bit scarce along the east coast. So far i have seen it only twice and the spring one's were always scruffy. Almost all the individuals we saw this spring din't have their red skirt.
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 12:57   #25
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A recent addition to my Shanghai list. Seen earlier this year in April for the first time. A mega sized individual posed for a lengthy time in the early morning hours before the sun came up.
So far this has been the "Top Butterfly" of the patch.
I had this in Hong Kong on Mt Victoria, same family but this is Paris Peacock Papilio paris I think which I've also seen in Thailand

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