XiaoQi, the falconet village in Wuyuan has transformed itself from one of the top tourist destination to a famous falconet watching village. Many of the hotels have now turned into a full boarding system to accommodate the photographers and birders. With the rise in social media, every hotel owner is advertising vigorously using the WeChat groups. So, there is plenty to chew on and ignoring most of the unwanted stuff, these Wechat groups can sometimes provide different perspective and the ongoing situation in several areas. The photos shared by the “Cherry Blossom” hotel owner was one such a kind as the Falconets were preying on several types of butterflies that had put XiaoQi in our spotlight.
This is a different case as we were the only ones who were after the prey while the entire crowd in Xiaoqi village was busy at the nesting site of the Falconets. Some of the prey were fancy brush-footed butterflies which certainly looked interesting and became our target butterflies. It’s about time to experience the different face of the falconet village which we had no idea could be a warehouse for butterflies.
After finishing our morning with the falconets at the roof top of “Meiyuan Restaurant”, we started to explore the old woods in the XiaoQi village. The camphor trees in here are as old as 600 years and that’s the main reason for the Falconets for sticking in this area for decades. These camphor trees also hold the canopy browsing butterflies and we caught them on the ground when they came down for mineral harvest.
Our first tick of went to the “Lesser Purple Emperor” which was found on a construction debris in the parking lot followed by “Tawny Rajah” who doesn’t seem to like anything other than dog feces. We also had poor views of a “Shan Nawab“(Polyura nepenthes), our target butterfly of the trip.
We wandered into one of the hotel grounds which had a good lawn in the front and the lawn kept us entertained for the rest of the day. The 50 Sq.metre garden had a fantastic collection and certainly made the most of our trip list.
We also checked a small patch of bamboo by the stream, it held a handful of bamboo specialities. We also found some of these very common around XiaoQi.
Below are the marsh specialities, these ones were bit more common near the marshes around XiaoQi village.
When we were day tripping in the cultural heritage site of Huangling, we found few more interesting stuff while the Yellow Coster was the very common anywhere in Wuyuan.
Huangling tourist village is pretty much geared up for commercial tourism but still holds good no of mature trees, some of them are even 1000 years old.
We came across good no of Hesperiidae’s but most of them were really tricky to put a name on them.
On the final day of our trip, we were at the Silver Pheasant stakeout at Gutianshan bordering Zhejiang and Jiangxi province. We came across some interesting specimens. The monotypic Mandarinia regalis is a typical Satyrinae but its upper wings are strikingly blue, unfortunately i could not get a photo of it.
The below Euthalia spp was a real pain to put an ID and took weeks of research to finally nail the ID.
Well, the beer and baijiu are just for the rhyming. The rice wine (Baijiu) will even snap the most passionate drinkers but when you live in China for a while it gets to you and you can’t escape from a Baijiu party when it comes to the Chinese. So, if you are in Wuyuan don’t miss the local speciality.
Checklist of the butterflies (Total : 40 species)
Most of the butterflies in China doesn’t have a common name hence i’m sticking to the scientific names for the list, followed by their Chinese name with their respective pinyin.
- Pseudocoladenia dea (大襟弄蝶/Dàjīn nòng dié)
- Isoteinon lamprospilus (旖弄蝶/Yǐ nòng dié)
- Polytremis pellucida (透纹孔弄蝶/Tòu wén kǒng nòng dié)
- Troides aeacus (金裳凤蝶/Jīn shang fèng dié)
- Papilio machon (金凤蝶/Jīn fèng dié)
- Eurema hecabe (宽边黄粉蝶/Kuān biān huáng fěndié)
- Talbotia naganum (飞龙粉蝶 / Fēilóng fěndié)
- Pieris rapae (菜粉蝶/Cài fěndié)
- Ravenna nivea (冷灰蝶/Lěng huī dié)
- Deudorix rapaloides (淡黑玳灰蝶/Dàn hēi dài huī dié)
- Lycaena phlaeas (红灰蝶/Hóng huī dié)
- Pseudozizeeria maha (酢酱灰蝶/Cù jiàng huī dié)
- Everes argiades (蓝灰蝶/Lán huī dié)
- Tongeia filicaudis (点玄灰蝶/Diǎn xuán huī dié)
- Celastrina oreas (大紫琉璃灰蝶/Dà zǐ liúlí huī dié)
- Zemeros flegyas (波蚬蝶/Bō xiǎn dié)
- Libythea lepita (朴喙蝶/Pǔ huì dié)
- Acraea issoria (苎麻珍蝶/Zhùmá zhēn dié)
- Argyreus hyperbius (黑端豹斑蝶/Hēi duān bào bān dié)
- Damora sagana (青豹蛱蝶/Qīng bào jiá dié)
- Kaniska canace (琉璃蛱蝶/Liúlí jiá dié)
- Polygonia c-aureum (黄钩蛱蝶/Huáng gōu jiá dié)
- Vanessa indica (大红蛱蝶/Dàhóng jiá dié)
- Junonia almana (美眼蛱蝶/Měi yǎn jiá dié)
- Araschnia doris (曲纹蜘蛱蝶/Qū wén zhī jiá dié)
- Euthalia rickettsi (华东翠蛱蝶/Huádōng cuì jiá dié)
- Athyma zeroca (孤斑带蛱蝶/Gū bān dài jiá dié)
- Athyma fortuna (幸福带蛱蝶/Xìngfú dài jiá dié)
- Neptis pryeri (链环蛱蝶/Liàn huán jiá dié)
- Apatura ilia (柳紫闪蛱蝶/Liǔ zǐ shǎn jiá dié)
- Polyura narcaea (二尾蛱蝶/Èr wěi jiá dié)
- Polyura nepenthes (忘忧尾蛱蝶/Wàng yōu wěi jiá dié)
- Charaxes bernardus (白带螯蛱蝶/Báidài áo jiá dié)
- Penthema adelma (白斑眼蝶/Báibān yǎn dié)
- Lethe syrcis (连纹黛眼蝶/Lián wén dài yǎn dié)
- Lethe lanaris (直带黛眼蝶/Zhí dài dài yǎn dié)
- Neope muirheadii (蒙链荫眼蝶/Méng liàn yīn yǎn dié)
- Madarinia regalis (蓝斑丽眼蝶/Lán bān lì yǎn dié)
- Mycalesis gotama (稻眉眼蝶/Dào méiyǎn dié)
- Mycalesis francisca (拟稻眉眼蝶/Nǐ dào méiyǎn dié)