Two caterpillars in one photo!
Four butterflies attracted to the same flowering plant!!
Just one moth in this photo -- but it appears to be a rare one! :b
It was very hot once again today; so much so that part of me was tempted to spend the entire day in air-conditioned comfort in my apartment. But I told myself I needed to get some more exercise in this week. So off I went in the afternoon for a hike that began at Victoria Gap and got me down and over to Pok Fu Lam via the Hong Kong Trail rather than the shorter option that makes use of Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road.
Soon after I left the tourist-infested section of The Peak, my mood began to lift; this even though, once more this summer, I found the temperature up there to be higher than I would expect, considering it being several hundred meters above sea level and, really unusually, I didn't spot as many interesting non-human critters about than I normally do when hiking in the area.
To be sure, I do wish that more of the people walking on Lugard Road could do so without feeling compelled to raise their voices to an annoyingly high volume when communicating with their companions and none would feel that they could smoke freely and spread cancerous vapors about them. Still, I also was soothed to a considerable degree by the surrounding greenery and the bird song that occasionally filled the air (and could be surprisingly loud considering how small some of the birds responsible for them are!).
My spirit soared even higher late in the hike when I came across a bush whose flowers were proving attractive to a number of butterflies. Members of the Nymphalidae Danainae sub-family were particularly well represented: with my spotting Glassy Tigers, Blue Tigers and Common Tigers flitting about the area. From the looks of it, they seem to like hanging out together; with, in one case, four members of this sub-family deciding to literally hang about on the same flowering plant while leaving its neighbors well alone!
Just when I was thinking that the sight of that quartet of butterflies was the hike's visual highlight, I caught sight of a smaller winged creature which I've come to realize is a moth despite being colorful like a butterfly. While it's hardly rare to spot moths while out hiking in Hong Kong, it really was the very first time that I saw this particular species of white, red and black colored moth!
After looking for a photo of a member of that species in vain on the pretty extensive Hong Kong Moths website, I've got to thinking that it must be a pretty rare one. However, thanks to Andrew Hardacre's HK Moths Photo Gallery, I got to figuring out that the moth I spotted this afternoon is a Utetheisa lotrix (aka salt-and-pepper moth) with quite a wide geographical range.
So bang went my hope that I had discovered a new species of insect. Nonetheless, I'm excited enough that after some eleven years of hiking in Hong Kong, I'm still able to come across interesting critters in the wild which I had previously never set my eyes on and didn't know existed! :)