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Emerging now.....Milionia zonea

Around this time every year there is a synchronised emergence of some of the loveliest moths I have ever seen. It is rare to see so many moths or butterflies appear in the same place all at once, I counted about 5 caterpillars and c.50 months in one place. And this was mid morning, as they are day flying moths, on Sunday the 12th May. Also there is a fascinating hypothesis and detective work undertaken by Roger Kendrick aka Mr Moth....and that is Milionia zonea has recolonised Hong Kong in late 2015 after an absence of at least some 400 years.

So, according to Roger, this species is very special (besides being so beautiful and flying in the day time, unlike most moths), as according to him and his research -

I quote the Hong Kong Moths blogsite

" i)this species wasn’t known in recent history to have been seen in Hong Kong. The first documented observation occurred in January 2016. (2) – because the larvae are somewhat voracious diners on Podocarpus, the larvae have a pretty bad PR problem. Podocarpus is an expensive horticultural asset linked to good fung shui in Hong Kong. A small tree costs thousands of HK$ !"

The Caterpillars which have been feasting on the conifers that you will be standing under if you see them, drop on long lines of silky thread from the tree tops to the ground below, where they pupate, and then all at once, these lovely moths can be seen struggling up grass stems, shrubs and stems to get to the light, unfurl their wings and take flight.

I only had a 100mm macro lens, so struggled with the Depth of Field. Most of these were shot between 800-1600 ISO, at f8, at around 1/180s.

This one below is still unfurling his wings, as he has just emerged into the daylight. Click on the image for a larger size.

This is a moth...and a species of Geometridae family, in which most of the members are night flying moths. But, this species is a day flying moth with colourful wings, and some hatchlings have brilliant blue bodies. This lovely creature was first described by Francis Walker - an English entomologist- in 1854 whilst working with the British Museum.

Milionia zonea

If you find one, look around, you may find many more!

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