When I visited the Philippines in 2015 for the launch of my picturebooks, we went on a short trek on Mount Makiling. Short probably because I spent so much time chasing butterflies and taking photos that we didn’t get very far!
The butterflies were amazing, I had never seen so many different species in one place. I didn’t know what they were, but made a note of their colours and markings. A very small blue one, a white one with a large black eyespot, one that looks like a zebra. By the end of the trek, we’d see twenty-two different species!
Nakakita tayo ng dalawampu’t dalawa na ibat-ibang klase ng paruparo. Nakita din natin ang malaki na gagamba …but that’s another story (NB I had help with the tagalog!).
Such a remarkable number of species on one short walk.
This is my identification book for the butterflies of Britain and Ireland. It’s not very big because there aren’t many butterfly species. Just 59 species in the entire country. I’ve seen 39 of them.
To see 22 butterfly species in just a short walk; it was as if Mount Makiling was demonstrating to me the true meaning of biodiversity (perhaps it was Maria Makiling herself showing me).
I failed to get photos of most of them and the ones I did get aren’t great but thank you to the wonderful people at Philippine Lepidoptera for identifying them. Check out their facebook page or website for some fantastic butterfly and moth photos and marvel at the biodiversity of the Philippines!
Ragadia luzonia negrosensis
Koruthaialos rubecula luzonensis
Ypthima sempera sempera
Parantica luzonensis luzonensis
Eurema sarilata aquilo
Appias nephele nephele
Faunis phaon pan
Two butterflies that I managed to photograph in other locations in the Philippines:
Parthenos sylvia philippensis
Troides rhadamantus rhadamantus