Thursday, November 26, 2009

Butterflies big and small

During recent trips I came across two unusually cooperative butterflies. The first, one of the largest and most magnificent I have ever seen, posed for me during a visit to Fuyuan National Forest Recreation Area (also called the Butterfly Valley Resort) in Hualien. If I've identified it correctly (I'm a butterfly fan but no expert) it's a Small Birdwing. According to the Council of Agriculture's website, the forewing span can be as much as 20cm.I haven't been able to identify the other butterfly. I'm pretty sure it isn't rare; in any case, there were hundreds of similar specimens where I found it, flitting over a freshly-mowed lawn near my home in Tainan. As you can see, it's tiny, each wing being barely 1cm across.

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