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HOME > TAICHUNG CITY > ARTS & LEISURE >

COMPASS MAGAZINE, May 2007

Dancing in the spring breeze

By Lishea Chen Translated by Sho Huang

Flapping their transparent, beautiful wings, butterflies dance in the air just like fairies spread flowers petals in the sky.

The Central Taiwan Butterfly Watching Area can be reached by taking the route to LiShan and WuLing Farm and heading towards QiLang. On the way, SuFong Dei (an endangered species in Taiwan, "Dei" means "butterfly") and DaHongWen Dei can be easily spotted in the flower bushes, perfect for butterfly-watching beginners. And, if you are super lucky, you might have a chance to see HuanWenFong Dei (a world-famous Taiwanese indigenous species). The forewings are black with golden, green, blue and purple patterns. The wings on the back have burgundy-red crescent moon pattern. They are gorgeous. The caterpillars have no hair with a bright-green eye pattern. Butterfly-watching veterans can visit the hometown of that GaoSan Dei butterflies, WuSer, TsweiFong and HeHuan Mountain (Hohuanshan).

ZiBan Dei is the only breed in the world which fly miles to escape the harsh winters in northern Taiwan, like Emperor Butterflies in Mexico. As the number of ZiBan Dei grows, a special unprecedented sign was set up along the highway, to protect them while they fly back to the north in spring time. It is hoped the signs will be help ful to these beautiful butterflies as they "move house". Usually, the Zibo Dei set off from southern Taiwan and fly to Lonnie to breed. Then they fly north and reach Taichung Metropolitan Park around April. In a month or so, the caterpillars in LinNei will turn into butterflies and set off north, too. However, as the weather has been unstable, the usual April 15 to May 13 ZiBan Dei watching period has been very slow. Hopefully people can have a glimpse of a grand sight, as thousands of them fly back north when sunny days come and stay.

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