Rare butterflies flutter in

Local | Carain Yeung 14 Nov 2016

A rising number of rare butterflies made their way to Hong Kong, where high rainfall contributed to a favorable environment for reproduction and growth, a green group said.

Green Power surveyed 10 butterfly "hotspots" across the city from June to October and detected 170 species, about a 65 percent share of the total number of species documented locally.

More species were found in eight of the 10 hotspots in the five months than in the whole of last year, according to Matthew Sin Kar-wah. He said the survey usually starts in June and ends in next May. Topping the chart is Yuen Tun Ha in Tai Po with 132 species, followed by Sha Tau Kok with 117 species and Luk Keng with 113 species.

Yuen Tun Ha recorded a rise of 20 percent in the number of species and 40 percent in rare ones to become the location with the biggest number of rare butterflies in Hong Kong.

Sin associated the increase in the number of species to a high rainfall recorded this year, which he said helped the growth of plants and thus the reproduction and growth of butterflies.

He also highlighted the discovery of euthalia niepelti. First discovered in Hong Kong in 2008, the species' appearances have been few and far between but they were found in Luk Keng, Wu Kau Tang, Lam Tsuen and Sha Tau Kok this time, Lam said.

Another important discovery is the very rare catochrysops panormus, or silver forget-me-not, in Luk Keng.

The species was spotted in Fung Yuen years ago, Sin said, but it was the first time it was found in Luk Keng.

Sin said: "In the past we have found butterfly 'hotspots' damaged and immediately reported it to the relevant departments for follow-up. The data we gathered will also be submitted to the authorities to set up conservation policies."

He said he was happy to see the rising number of butterfly species and believed even more will be coming.

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