Common Bluebottle Graphium sarpedon connectens

Common bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon connectens)

Common bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon connectens)

Common bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon connectens)

Common bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon connectens)

Location: Sheding Nature Park, Kending, Taiwan

See G. s. connectens in China.

See G. s. semifasciatus in China.

See G. s. luctatius in China.

See G. s. luctatius in Thailand.


    1. sylvia

      I’m sure you will. They are very cool, but very fast. And aren’t still even when they puddle. I can’t believe I finally got a decent open wing shot!

  1. Trevor

    No kidding! I have been trying for years to capture these on film (on pixels, perhaps is a better way to put it!) and they are such bad specimens! Almost every picture comes out a blur. I have spent much time in Kenting (field work, figs) and saw these all the time. Love them, but wish they would take a break once and a while and let me take their picture!

    Nice shots!

    1. Sylvia

      Thanks Trevor! In general, I think all Papilionidae are difficult to photograph. There are a few exceptions, but this one ain’t one! These guys are some of the worst. Not as bad as the Jay’s but dang near. Lucky you, getting to spend a lot of time in Kenting (Taiwan pinyin is odd for me :). My husband lived in Taiwan for 3 years, 2000-01, and he got to visit a lot. He says it sure has changed a lot. But we really like it there! And the butterflies were plentiful, so I was quite happy.

      1. Trevor

        :) Funny you mention the pinyin….it should be, as you write, kending. That’s the preferred way here, but it is new (to them). So, when I communicate with Taiwanese via pinyin I usually stick to the older version they were taught. Old habits and all that.

        I was swimming in a river last weekend (San Zhan river, near Taroko National Park…did you ever make it to Hualien?) and I found ~20 Graphium sipping from a small puddle on the side. So beautiful….yet……so elusive!

        1. Sylvia

          We live in Zhongguo dalu, so I only do simplified and modern pinyin. Taiwan had me at a loss a lot of the time. I’ve only been to Kending and Maolin. We went for vacation this past January. We have to leave the mainland for our visa, every six months, so we vacation somewhere in Asia in January and July. I usually pick a place with lots of butterflies :). I would love to go to Hualien. But can I ask, what other locations would you recommend during those months? And also, do you have a blog? Your avatar isn’t letting me click through…I was going to look to see your photos of butterflies :)

  2. Trevor

    Sorry, no exciting blog to share. Im purely a nature lover with an amateur eye for butterflies. Most of my efforts are put into identifying, lacking a decent camera (my old best friend of a camera died…). If you are interested in some decent Taiwan butterfly pics and info, check out He is from the central/west area and has some very good shots (never met him, I just check his blog for butterfly pics).

    If you are returning to Taiwan for any of your visa runs, and are interested in the east, I would suggest Taroko National Park/Fuyuan Butterfly Valley (near the town of RuiSui)/the coastal mountains near the city of Hualien. These are three easily accessible places that have proven very worthwhile for butterfly viewing. If you are ever around or have definite plans, I can give you detailed info on getting there/where to stay!

    However, at that time of year I fear that these places will pale in comparison to what there is to see in Kending. Also, in the north the CaoLing Trail (Historical Trail, near the town of FuLong) and YangMing Shan National Park (1/2 hour outside of Taipei/Taibei) are very good butterfly spots.

    1. Sylvia

      Thanks Trevor! That is wonderful information, and I’m sure other people will be happy to have it as well. What time of year is it best to visit those places? If you ever do start a blog, make sure you return and leave a link! I’d love to pick your brain about the butterflies of Taiwan, since you have so much experience!

      1. Trevor

        I just got back from a ~3 day jaunt up to a new place in the mountains, and a place I should add to the list – Tai Ping Shan (near Yi Lan City). I found a few of my faavourites, and a couple of new ones to add to the ID list!

        If you (or anyone reading this blog!) is headed Taiwan way, I would be pleased to offer some specific advice. However, in general, I would say that the south is best Nov-Feb, and the middle to north is best March-July. Generally! We are hit with two separate monsoons, so in the winter the south is dry and hot, and in the summer the south is wet and hot; in the winter the north (and much of the east) is cold and wet, while the west is mild and dry, and in the summer it is usually hot and dry(er). Complicated….

        I actually was in love with my old Sony (12x zoom style) until it died in the middle of a trip. I then invested in a (heftily priced) Lumix fz100 that I despise. I am confident with a camera and I know what I am doing, but this thing under-performs in all categories…and I just stopped lugging it around with me. So I turned to my ID book and binos for solace, and things are going well so far!

        1. Sylvia

          Thanks Trevor! That is good info. I definitely will be back to Taiwan, especially since my husband loves it there too! And as long as you’re enjoying it, that is all that matters. I prefer photos because I like to see the details upclose later. But I also take time to just observe and enjoy in the field.

    2. Sylvia

      Also, Trevor, I should note that although I have really good gear now, when I first started this blog, I didn’t. All of my early photos were taken with a little Nikon point and shoot. I got some really great shots with that little camera. I hope you will get a new best friend, even if he’s a wee tad on the small side, and continue to take and identify the wonderful butterflies of Taiwan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s