Butterflies add colour to HK (Field Officer II)
Tam Kin-chung joined the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department in 2012 and is an ecological surveyor in its Butterfly Working Group.
The Field Officer is an expert on the winged insects and is well-versed in their behaviour.
“The male butterflies usually put in a lot of effort to attract females. They try to find a plant with some special chemicals to convert them into pheromones to attract female butterflies.
“And some other butterflies, the male butterfly, will go to a hilltop. Such behaviour, we call that hill-topping. They go there to wait for a female butterfly to fly across so that they can have the courtship behaviour with them.”
The intricately detailed Tawny Mime is adept at imitating the appearance of the poisonous Chestnut Tiger to ward off predators, Mr Tam said.
“They have a black forewing and a brown hindwing with some pale blue colour, colour stripes on their wings.
“It is quite a beautiful butterfly but if you want to find one, it is quite difficult because the adults of Tawny Mime only appear in March and April every year. If you miss it, you will need to wait for another year to see this rare butterfly.”
Mr Tam traverses the city to collect information on butterflies and finds it meaningful to help broaden people’s knowledge about the beautiful insects and to share the importance of environmental conservation.
“Butterfly survey and investigation is very important to the public because butterflies are a part of our ecosystem.
“When there are more butterflies, it means that there are more flowers and the vegetation should be quite good in the surrounding environment. They can support the butterflies, so that they come by.
“It is very important for us to protect our environment so that more butterflies and animals can live there.”
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