Mon, Oct 14, 2019 - Page 9 News List

Blue Baron butterfly arrives in Taiwan as suspected stowaway
台灣前所未見 「尖翅翠蛺蝶」 神奇現身基隆內寮濕地

A White-edged Blue Baron seen in the Neiliao Wetlands of Keelung.
尖翅翠蛺蝶在基隆內寮濕地現蹤。

Photo courtesy of Wang Shu-hua
照片:王淑華提供

On Tuesday, Wang Shu-hua, president of the Keelung City Neiliao Community Development Association, captured a photo of a beautiful butterfly in the Neiliao Wetlands. It was the first time she had ever seen one like it. Experts recognized it as a White-edged Blue Baron. Shen Chin-feng, a council member of the Keelung Bird Society, said Thursday that this could be the first time this butterfly has ever been recorded in Taiwan, the nearest place in which it has been sighted being Xiamen, China. There is a regular shipping route between Taiwan and Xiamen, and it cannot be ruled out that the butterfly came over as a stowaway.

According to Shen, the White-edged Blue Baron can be found in India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and south China, the nearest place to Taiwan that it has been recorded being Xiamen. The butterfly is known to nestle on mango trees, and it just so happens that there was a fruit bearing mango tree in the Neiliao Wetlands: when Wang spotted this male Blue Baron, it was nestling on a Yellow Water Lily, drinking water. From its appearance it seems to have only just emerged from its chrysalis. Even more intriguing, however, was the question of where exactly did it come from.

Experts believe that the Blue Baron could have entered Keelung via a shipping route. There was a passenger ship in the Port of Keelung named the Cosco Star that travels to and from Xiamen on a regular weekly basis, and it is known from a survey carried out by the Keelung Bird Society of Taiwan’s three northern outlying islands that insects carried on the monsoon winds will land on fishing boats and become “stowaways” on these vessels. Sometimes, they will arrive unannounced in Keelung in this way.

Shen gave another example, citing the case of the Large Faun butterfly first discovered at the Ershawan Battery in Keelung in 1997, and which is still seen in Keelung to this day. The area of distribution of the Blue Baron is very similar to that of the Large Faun, and the Blue Baron’s appearance could well be a repeat performance of the Large Faun’s arrival.

(Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

基隆市內寮社區發展協會理事長王淑華,上周二在基隆內寮濕地拍攝到一隻沒見過的漂亮蝴蝶,經專家辨識確定是「尖翅翠蛺蝶」,基隆市野鳥學會常務理事沈錦豐上週四說,這可能是台灣第一筆記錄,「尖翅翠蛺蝶」離台灣最近的紀錄是在廈門,而基隆有往返廈門的固定船班,不排除牠可能是搭客輪來的。

沈錦豐表示,「尖翅翠蛺蝶」的分布區域在印度、孟加拉、緬甸、泰國、柬埔賽、越南及中國華南地區,離台灣最近的紀錄在廈門,以芒果樹為寄主,內寮濕地剛好有一棵會結果的芒果樹,這隻「尖翅翠蛺蝶」雄蝶被王淑華發現時,正停在濕地水面的台灣萍蓬草上吸水,從外觀研判像是剛羽化不久,但更令人好奇的是,牠到底是從哪裡來的?

專家研判「尖翅翠蛺蝶」可能是透過船舶經由海路進入基隆,因為基隆港有一艘「中遠之星」客輪,每星期會固定往返廈門及基隆,而根據基隆鳥會前往北方三島調查的經驗,一些昆蟲會隨著季風停棲在漁船上,而這些搭便船的「偷渡客」,有時候就這樣無聲無息地來到了基隆。

沈錦豐也舉例,基隆市蝶「串珠環蝶」於一九九七年在海門天險首次發現,直到今年主要活動區域仍在基隆,「尖翅翠蛺蝶」的分布區域和「串珠環蝶」很像,同樣的事件真的很有可能重演。

(自由時報)

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