Butterflies of South Korea

Posted: September 21, 2010 in butterflies, holidays, Korea, macro photography, wide angle photography
Tags: , ,

Seongsan Sunrise Peak

I just found out that my itinerary in Korea is the same as just about everybody else’s who have gone package deal with the travel agents in Singapore.  

That kinda makes any kind of introduction of the places in Korea somewhat redundant.  But then I bet not many people have photos of these beauties!    

Common butterfly in Korea: The Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) can be found even amongst small strips of green in the city. As long as there are flowers around.

I was whisked away from the talkative tour guide (would you believe it?  He spent almost 25 min hanging around a few straw huts talking non stop and left us 11 min to walk around the huge area… which needless to say, none on tour managed to do so!) by the butterflies in Jeju Village.       

Polygonia c-aureum on purple flowers. Very common butterfly

This butterfly was especially hard to resist, no matter how irritated the tour guide was with my running away.  Purple flowers contrasting against the vibrant orange wings, it was every butterfly lover’s best photographic moment.  This particular Nymphalid is popularly known as the Asian Comma butterfly and is common in South Korea.  It could be easily spotted flitting everywhere from hilltops to amongst roadside flowers and backyards.   

 

Papilio dehaanii

If my travels around South Korea were anything to go by, it almost seems that Korea has more larger species of butterflies than smaller species like the Lycaenidae.  After all the running away from the tour group and grovelling on my hands and knees begging for the bushes to give me some teeny blues, all I got were big Papilios winging around my head.  Not that I mind.  The Papilio dehaani was accompanied by other members of its family such as what looked like the macilentus which never stopped for me (and my blurry posts are too embarassing to post). 

Artogeia melete

This little Pieridae however is a theme park butterfly.  Hanging out on a flower amongst shrieking rollercoasters and hordes of tourists milling around, the butterfly showed no fear of having its personal space invaded repeatedly. Sitting in the Everland park butterfly enclosure, I’m horrified to say that it was the only butterfly I could find behind the chain curtain.  Instead they have information boards hanging around empty host plants showing life cycles of butterflies that are not there.  It was nothing short of ironic.      

Argyronome laodice

Enjoying more freedom than its imprisoned cousin, the laodice was found squatting patiently on a flower just at the entrance to Everland waiting to stick its proboscis out at silly hordes of people jostling to get into the theme park.  Taking this shot earned me an earful from the tour guide who had just had enough of my hyperactivity around butterflies (he was running short on time and I was using that time to snipe away at passing butterflies.  Tsk, he said, anybody who doesn’t listen to me doesn’t get to eat lunch! And I have your lunch coupons!).  I’d only seen this butterfly once during the entire time I was in Korea.     

Argyronome laodice

Ignoring the angry cries from the tour guide, the butterfly also obliged me with an open winged shot.  (I did however grab a lunch coupon from my guide anyway and had lunch. ) 

Zizeria maha: Butterfly found at the tomato farm

On the short-lived excursion to the tomato farm, this small butterfly was found milling in hordes around the tomato plants.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out that the tomato plants were its host plant.  So instead of picking cherry tomatoes, I spent the excursion time crawling amongst the plants looking for fat caterpillars.  Before I hit catepillar jackpot however, it was time to go and I shuffled out of the tomato rows into the wild grasslands around the farm incorrigibly shooting away at myraids of excitingly different butterflies and forgetting myself.  Again.  

Artogeia rapae

 It took me ages to find any information on Korean butterflies but since I’d found it, I’d like to share the links (however, there is a chance you might not understand anything you read on them): 

http://www.ataxus.com/ (Fantastic photograph checklist of Korean butterflies, complete with life history and videos) 

http://www.nature.go.kr:9001/insect/insect_list.do?param(field)=&param(value)=&param(field2)=&param(value2)=&param(field3)=&param(value3)=&page=4251 (photographic checklist for bugs and butterflies in Korea)

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Comments
  1. oh wow, so much beauty! Lovely photos, as always 🙂 Tour guides are ueally more annoying than helpful, in my experience….

    ps: can you see my blog?? I’ve lost track on who it was that were having problems with accessing it :s

    • Thanks for the kind comments! I find the photo quality is really compressed on WordPress… I’ve tried to upload on Flickr and post. But I can’t seem to make it work (along with many other things!). I’m pretty untechie I must say… :(… LOL.

  2. […] Butterflies of South Korea « Butterfly Effect – I just found out that my itinerary in Korea is the same as just about everybody else’s who have gone package deal with the travel agents in Singapore. That kinda makes any kind of introduction of the places in Korea somewhat … […]

  3. […] Butterflies of South Korea « Butterfly Effect – I just found out that my itinerary in Korea is the same as just about everybody else’s who have gone package deal with the travel agents in Singapore. That kinda makes any kind of introduction of the places in Korea somewhat … […]

  4. rickfurmanek says:

    Wonderful images … thanks for sharing them.

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