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Natural mortality of hard corals during summer 2003
Rediscovery of a rare skipper--White-banded Awl (Hasora taminatus)
A photo record of the coral reef mantis shrimp, Pseudosquilla ciliata in Hong Kong

Rediscovery of a rare skipper ─ White-banded Awl (Hasora taminatus)

by Yik Fui Lo
Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, 6/F., Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon

On 29 May 2003, during a field trip in Pat Sin Leng Country Park, many leaf shelters were spotted on Derris alborubra (Fabaceae). Several skipper larvae were found inside the shelters and two were collected. The larvae pupated on 2 June and a male and female emerged on 11 June. The adults were examined and identified as Hasora taminatus.

Hasora taminatus is one of the rarest skippers in Hong Kong as only two specimens were known locally and no immature stage has been recorded (Bascombe, 1997). Since the last specimen was taken in 1957, this species has not been recorded in Hong Kong for nearly half a century.

Five Hasora species have been recorded in Hong Kong. Among them, Hasora chromus (Figs. 1-4) and Hasora taminatus (Fig. 5-12) highly resemble each other. In both species, the hindwing underside of both sexes has a white postdiscal band; the male forewing upperside is spotless and the female forewing has two small hyaline spots. The main differences between the two species are shown in the table below:

  H. taminatus H. chromus
Larval Foodplant Derris alborubra (Fabaceae) and probably Millettia sp. Pongamia pinnata (Fabaceae)
Female Forewing Spots

Smaller and round

Larger and elongate

Underside Gloss

Metallic green

Pale purple

However, a worn specimen may lose its underside gloss and makes identification more difficult. As many larvae were seen on Derris alborubra in that area on the same day, Hasora taminatus could be locally common in Pat Sin Leng area.


Bascombe, M., Johnston, G. & Bascombe, F. (1999). The Butterflies of Hong Kong. London: Academic Press.

Fig. 1. Adult male of Hasora chromus (upperside). Fig. 3. Upperside of an adult female Hasora chromus
Fig. 2. Underside of an adult male of Hasora chromus. Fig. 4. Underside of an adult female Hasora chromus.

Fig. 5. Upperside of an adult male Hasora taminatus. Fig. 7. Upperside of an adult female Hasora taminatus.
Fig. 6. Underside of an adult male Hasora taminatus. Fig. 8. Underside of an adult female Hasora taminatus.

Fig. 9. Last (fifth) instar larva of Hasora taminatus Fig. 10. Prepupatory larva of Hasora taminatus.
Fig. 11. Pupa (dorsal view) of Hasora taminatus. Fig. 12. Pupa (lateral view) of Hasora taminatus.


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