Can anyone tell me what kind of bug this is?
Is that a moth or a butterfly? In any case,
its camouflage is not bad!
This, I know, is a stick insect
(Can you spot it, by the way? ;b)
Like yesterday (with its record-breaking weather), today was another very hot day in Hong Kong -- with maximum temperatures in some parts of the territory rising past the 37 degree mark. And like the past few days (and in stark contrast to how it was last Sunday), conditions were on the hazy side too.
But rather than forego my usual Sunday hike, I just chose to go on a trail that I knew would be have lots of shade and counted on there being lots of interesting critters to spot among the abundant foliage enroute. Although it's not especially scenic, Section 4 of the Hong Kong Trail has become one of my favorite hiking routes, one of my favorite hiking routes -- in large part because it takes one into a section of Hong Kong Island that is so close to "civilization", yet can feel so far away from it on account of it being such so green.
Within 10 minutes of getting off the bus at Wan Chai Gap and starting along the 7.5 kilometer trek eastwards to Wong Nai Chung Gap, one will be surrounded by vegetation and be enveloped by smells far more natural than, say, the fumes emitted by motorized vehicles. Particularly noticeable this afternoon too was how much cooler than the concrete jungle below this forested section of Hong Kong Island felt.
A few days, it was reported that 27 new species of ants had been discovered in Hong Kong in the past year. Although none of those discoveries were made in Aberdeen Country Park, I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility for this part of the Big Lychee to be home to previously unknown species of insects -- and yes, I have to admit to having fantasies of unearthing one myself (including the first time I spotted what a knowledgeable blog visitor went on to inform me was a lantern bug)!
At the very least, I find it pretty cool that in my eighth year of hiking in Hong Kong, I still can come across critters that I previously had never seen -- or even known existed -- like the bug whose head a friend has described as looking like the inside of dragonfruits and also the one in the photo at the very top of this blog post that the friend I went on today's hike with likened to an emaciated wasp!
Also, even though I know what they are, it's still neat as ever as to be able to spot camouflaged critters. And while I still have yet to be able to detect a leaf insect in the wild, I did come across a brown winged creature this afternoon that could quite easily pass for a leaf if one didn't look too carefully when passing by it.
Furthermore, I spotted yet another stick insect on today's hike; this one closer in appearance to the one that I had spotted on Lantau Island a few weeks back than that which I had seen up on Victoria Peak a couple of weeks before that! Honestly, I can't decide if there happen to be more stick insects about this summer or that I've become quite a bit more adapt at spotting them! In any event, I continue to get quite a thrill each time I spot them; this not least because my hiking companions usually don't do so until I point out to them where those critters are! ;b