Butterflies in Hong Kong

Butterflies are insects from the order Lepidoptera which also includes moths. Adult butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous fluttering flight. The current butterfly checklist in Hong Kong contains 245 species in 5 families which are Hesperiidae, Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae, Papilionidae, and Pieridae, each different in shape, colour, flight pattern and other characteristics. The table below shows the features of 4 butterfly species commonly found in Hong Kong.

SpeciesTroides aeacusPapilio protenorPieris canidiaDelias pasithoe
Chinese name金裳鳳蝶黑鳳蝶緣點白粉蝶報喜斑粉蝶
Common nameGolden BirdwingSpangleIndian Cabbage WhiteRed-base Jezebel
DescriptionBlack forewings with veins bordered by whitish colour. Hindwings are bright yellow.Velvety indigo-black, duller on the forewings than on the hindwings. Hindwings with a broad pale yellowish-white subcostal streak.Wings are mainly white while the wing tips and surfaces are decorated with black patches. Slow flyer.Wings are broadly dusted with black. Underside of hindwing has a large patch of yellow scales and a basal red mark.
Wingspan95 – 160 mm90 – 115 mm50 – 60 mm60 – 70 mm
Commonly seen periodApril to OctoberFebruary to NovemberThroughout the whole yearThroughout the whole year
Global distributionNorthern India, Nepal, Burma, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia.Northern Pakistan, Burma, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, China, North Korea, South Korea, JapanBangladesh, Burma, Taiwan, India, ChinaNepal, North-East India, Northern Burma, Vietnam, China
Conservation statusListed in Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance.
AFCD assessment: rare
AFCD assessment: very commonAFCD assessment: very commonAFCD assessment: very common
金裳鳳蝶 Golden Birdwing
(Troides aeacus)
黑鳳蝶 Spangle
(Papilio protenor)
緣點白粉蝶 Indian Cabbage White
(Pieris canidia)
報喜斑粉蝶 Red-base Jezebel
(Delias pasithoe)