I am (shall I say ‘was’?) a trained entomologist. Although I have not done any thing in this field for decades, I still love insects, particularly members of Lepidoptera. Taiwan is a paradise for entomologists, they have more than four hundred species of butterflies. During our recent trip to Asia, we had spent a couple of days on the Sun Moon Lake in Central Taiwan. We walked part of the trails along the lake side, I saw more butterflies in a day than I had in the last ten years in Boston. I was able to take a few pictures of my long lost friends, here are their portraits.
我是唸昆虫出身的, 總算也曾在 Pest Control 部門添陪末座, 做过 vector control 的工作。Cancer 與 Drug Discovery 是因緣巧合, 即買即賣的技倆, 就連人家稱我為”專家”的 flow cytometry 也是混飯吃的把戲。 真正有點感情的還算是昆虫呢。廾多年來為口奔驰都沒有再接觸昆虫了。最令我印象深刻的是夏天在日夲 (那幾年在迷日夲呢) 時所聽到的蝉嗚, 日人稱之為”蝉時雨”者, 振耳卻聾, 令人不得不想起它們. 這次到台灣 (現在開始”哈台”了), 在日月潭住了两亇晚上, 我在那一天裡所看的蝴蝶比我过去十年在波士頓看到的還要多呢. 所以一時興起, 就在湖边的步道上拍起昆虫來. 沒有驚人之作, 只是幾張影像, 比那湖光山色更能代表日月潭之美。 看官莫怪, 痴人說虫話是也。寫起虫子的東西, 有點像卅年前读書, 卅年後來考昆虫分類似的, 縱然是以前最熟的鱗翅目也只依稀記得幾个名字而已。寫錯了, 看官原諒則個。
I haven’t seen a long-horned grasshopper for a long, long time. I recognized it by its long, blade-like depositor and its longer-than-body antennae. 這不就是螽斯嗎? 螽斯羽，詵詵兮，宜爾子孫，振振兮….
Unlike its short-horned cousins, katydids usually move more elegantly, and the way they move their antennae reminds me of how a lady warrior in a Peking opera moves the two long feathers on her head dress. 誰不喜欢它的長觸角呢? 有點像楊門女將冠上的两條長羽, 優美極了.
I have to confess that I don’t know this guy very well except that it is a member of Diptera. Its metallic color is much more “metallic” than that of a common “blue bottle”. With bristles on it backs, I would guess this is a blow fly. 唯一肯定的是双翅目昆虫. 身呈金屬藍色, 胸腹皆有剛(芒)毛, 應為麗蠅一種.
This is a member of the blues. When I say I love the blues, I mean Polyommatinae (a subfamily of Lycaenidae), the blues, I am not referring to the big, shiny Morpho from South America. The blues are small, elegant butterflies with a wing span about 2-3 cm. Quite a few of the blues have dramatic metallic blue color on their upper wings.
客問: 汝之部落格名為藍蝶, 是指南美的 Morpho 嗎? 確实, 誰不喜欢Morpho呢. 只是我說的 Blues, 在中文是叫小灰蝶. 小灰蝶的動靜很優雅, 翅下面的花紋一般較素淨, 但背面的顏色和花紋往往令人驚艳. 很多小灰蝶在後翅都有”燕尾”. 當它們停在葉面時, 喜欢把两邊的後翅輕輕摩擦, 十分逗人喜歡。我好像沒有飼養过小灰蝶, 但我記得我採了好一些, 放在三角袋中, 說退休後要好好的認識它們.
This is a member of Nymphalidae. The whole family is sometimes called four-footed butterflies. This one is probably a Hypolimnas bolina. 每科蝴蝶都有特性, 他們的顏色、飛舞的姿態都不一樣, 蛺蝶的特性很容易認, 雖然过去卅年只見过幾次, 但一見到就認得它, 它好像也要在路旁停下來跟我打個招呼呢. 查書, 此為硫球紫蛺蝶(雄的, 雌的花紋有異).
I recognized him right away when I spotted him (Papilio memnon). Yes, this is a “he”. Some 30 years ago, I used to go out and collect butterflies with a friend who is a plant taxonomist. He would help me to identify host plants when I found caterpillars. He was also fascinated by the beauty of butterflies. One day when we were out on the field, I saw this guy flying low, I told him this was the “husband”of the two beauties we caught earlier. He said, seriously : “I don’t believe that you can identify the sex of a butterfly while it is flying”. He thought I was kidding. But actually a trained eye can do just that to some species for the difference of color and patterns on the wings of the males and females. 雄性的大鳳蝶, 其雌性的花纹很不一樣, 從台灣到馬來亞, 雌蝶後翅的花紋都有幾個不同型式, 我常笑它是一夫多妻. 我曾捕蝶、養蝶數以千計(罪过, 罪过), 就是希望能有一隻雌雄同體的蝴蝶(目標就是此蝶)而已. 我在地庫還存有一、二百隻未展翅的標夲. 這些標夲都是我自已養的, 所以翅都是完整的. 我已備妥一Nikon 解剖顯微鏡, 它們是下雪後的project.
On the ceiling of the outside corridor of the hotel we stayed, I found this guy. Checked some references, this is probably a Neope muirheadi. 久違了, 蛇目蝶. 查書, 此乃背黃班蔭蝶.
This one is a common one. Its color pattern resembles the common white butterfly (Pieridae). It is a Nyctemera sp. 這隻應該是粉蝶燈蛾吧.
A skipper. They are “swift” fliers, not easy to get a hold of them. I used to work with the banana skipper. 這隻弄蝶是在埔里山上拍到的。 它們的胸肌特強, 飛行強而有力.
I was pretty happy with these few photos. With modern digital photographic equipments, taking pictures of insects is fun. Furthermore, with the help of the internet and a lot of insect enthusiasts out there, identifying insects is, compare to 30-40 years ago, a relatively easy task. 卅年前要拍攝昆虫並不容易, 因為照明不容易. 尤其當年還是”克難”得很, 買不起微距鏡, 只能土法練鋼, 用接環倒接 50mm 和 135mm 來用. 每次都得小心計算補光. 當準備好後, 虫子早就回家了, 故成功率極低. 再說, 當年要把虫子分類是十分困難的, 尤其是图書館也沒有幾夲昆虫書的時候. 現在一切變了, 希望以後還有機會到台灣拍昆虫.