Fungal attack on Black Cicada, 10 Jun 2013, HK island east.

This invidiual died from an entomopathogenic fungus belonging to the genus Nomuraea, At least two species from this genus is known to target cicadas, the large black ones of the genus Crytotympana, which are common in HK and Taiwan. (link)

Some species of Nomuraea are also known to be anamorphs of Cordyceps. (link 1) (link 2)

Interesting fact: the dull orange colour of the eyes in these photos is a symptom induced by the infection. The normal eye colour would be black/dark brown.


Paris Peacock (Papilio paris paris), drinking on a hot summer day…

Very common and quite widespread in Hong Kong, but nonetheless breathtaking. They are usually quite skittish and won’t allow me within 5 feet, but this one was thirsty…

One of the largest of our Papilionidae butterflies, at wingspan 85-105mm. Larvae feed on native plant Melicope pteleifolia.

Distributed in S China, Vietnam, northern Panamas, north-eastern India, Nepal.

6 Aug 2013, HK Island east.


Nymph instar of a planthopper, sitting tight on the stem of a Wikstroemia indica.

Species belong to superfamily Fulgoroidea (蠟蟬總科)

This would seem to belong to the family Ricaniidae and may even be a Ricania sp. (possibly R. speculum 八點廣翅蠟蟬) but I can’t find sources to verify that.


The planthopper nymph produces wax from specified abdominal glands - which forms the fluffy white feathery ‘tails’ you see in the picture above.

In the nymphs of other species found in SE Asia, the wax may form a radiating bunch of half-transparent, glassy-looking, rigid filaments that have been described as looking like ‘optical fibers’.

The waxy structure is theorized to provide concealment, and some Taiwanese sites I saw have described it as camouflage (allowing the nymph to resemble the hairy pappus in plant seeds, like that of the dandelion).

Another theory I’ve heard is that it allows the nymph to look bigger than it is  to intimidate and discourage would-be predators like jumping spiders, but I think the former theory’s more likely.


Ant-mimic jumping spider, Myrmarachne sp., possibly M. magna.



19 Jul 2012, HK Island east.

This is in all probability a female, because it was guarding an egg sac inside a rolled-up leaf… there were about twenty young spiderlings. And they had just had their first moulting (I’ve still got the moulted skins).

Adult size: 8~10 mm. (A bit hard to measure something that moves along at that speed)

Distribution: Hong Kong, Taiwan.


Sorry for the background - it’s my hand. *cough* I’d wanted to photo it against something light and my hand is the easiest thing to handle around.

help? advice?

My little DC, after 5 years of loyal companionship, has given up on me at last.

#this is a farewell post from a heartbroken careless owner

#screen went green and stripy

#I will now start looking for a new camera for bug macro photography

#if anyone could point me in the right direction…..

#I have no brand preference, only a budget of HKD 5000 (=USD 640, tops)


random pictures from today.

above:Nearly mature Dysodia rajah caterpillar on Melastoma sanguineum, getting out of its old leaf roll on its way to make a new one (because it ate up the last one). A moth of the Thyrididae (leaf moth) family.

below: Torenia fournieri flowers, small herb by roadside.