Butterfly Watching in Taiwan (2013)

Due to geographical isolation and complexity in landscape, Taiwan has been one of the best place for butterflying.  This is the fifth times I went there for butterflying.  This time, I revisited The Northern Cross-Island Highway and Puli.

The Northern Cross-Island Highway (北橫公路)

The Northern Cross-Island Highway has been one of the best spot for butterflying.  The place has been known for Sasakia charonda (大紫蛺蝶) and Agehana maraho (台灣寬尾鳳蝶).Baleng Valley

This time, I was still able to spot the two famous species.  However, I was not able to take good pictures of them.  Still, I was able to spot several endemic species/subspecies that I have never seen before.

Sephisa daimio (台灣帥蛺蝶/臺灣燦蛺蝶) Chitoria chrysolora (金鎧蛺蝶/臺灣小紫蛺蝶)

Puli, Nantou (南投埔里)

In the old days, Puli was well known for the “butterfly industry”.  The weather was not very good.  Still, we were lucky enough to see some butterflies.

Puli, Nantou

Butterflies gathering around the stream-bank.Butterfly gathering around stream-bank


Butterfly Watching in Kogesawa, Mt. Takao (Tokyo, Japan)

Mt. Takao was a popular hiking spot in Hachiōji (八王子) of Tokyo.  The place was connected to Tokyo City Center by Keio Takao Line and JR Chuo Line.  From Shinjuku, it takes about an hour to reach there.  Due to the ease of access, most of the hiking trails in Mt. Takao was quite busy and crowded.  That was not desired for butterfly watching.  Instead of Mt. Takao, Kogesawa Woodland Trail (小下沢林道) in the region is a better site for butterfly watching.  Right outside Takao JR station, there is a bus connecting to Kogesawa.  The bus ride took just about 10 minutes.

Kogesawa Woodland (小下沢風景林)

Mt. Takao was known for “Tengu” (天狗), a legendary big nose creature in Japanese folk.  I am not sure whether it is related or not, Libythea celtis (朴喙蝶) was so common in the region.  The butterfly was also having a big “nose” so it was called called “Tengu” butterfly.

Libythea celtis 朴喙蝶

The vegetation looks suitable for butterfly watching.  I was able to spot many butterflies deeper in the trail.  Still, end May to early June was not yet the peak butterfly season there.  I would expect seeing more butterflies in July and August.