Asia HK Mammals Species Profiles

Hong Kong Monkeys | 香港獼猴

There are around 1,800 wild monkeys in Hong Kong. None of them are native to Hong Kong. They were introduced. There are 2 species in Hong Kong – Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta), Long-tailed Macaque or crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis), and their hybrids.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Macaca (Lacépède, 1799)

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

獼猴, 長尾獼猴, 恆河猴, 西藏短尾猴, 藏酋猴, 馬騮, 野猴

Africa Americas Asia Australia Europe HK Mammals Species Profiles

Wild Boar – Hong Kong Wildlife | 野豬 – 香港野生動物

The Wild boars (Sus scrofa) is also known as wild swine, common wild pig, or simply wild pig.

Sus scrofa (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Suidae
Genus: Sus
Species: scrofa

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

野豬, 山豬

Amphibians Asia HK Species Profiles

Short-legged Horned Toad – Hong Kong Wildlife | 短腳角蟾 – 香港野生動物

If you will ask “What is a horned toad?”

  1. Most people will have zero ideas.
  2. Those who are into herpetology or herpetoculture will easily name the horned lizards (Phrynosoma sp) which are commonly known as horned toads, even though they are some North American lizards, not toads.
  3. Some may think of the much more well-known horned frogs from South America (Ceratophrys sp). Not toads either.
  4. Only very few people know about this one to be genuinely called horned toads.

But don’t be too serious. Common names of animals are rarely preciously accurate. That is why scientific names are to matter.

The Short-legged horned toad (Megophrys (Xenophrys) brachykolos) is also known as Peak spadefoot toad because it was first discovered in the Victoria Peak (locally known as The Peak), Hong Kong.

Its subtleness comes from its discreteness – It is a tiny little toad growing to less than 40-48 mm that burrows a lot and it is far from common. They are not easy to find at all!

Not to be confused with the common toad you can easily find, this species is pretty rare – Out of all 23 amphibian species of Hong Kong, there are only 3 endangered species – Hong Kong cascade frog (Amolops hongkongensis) 香港湍蛙, the most well-known Romer’s tree frog (Liuixalus romeri) 盧文氏樹蛙, and this toad.

Previously thought to be a subspecies of the Little horned toad (Megophrys minor). But molecular genetic evidence now supports its full species status. The 2 species are obviously different. The Little horned toad is absent in Hong Kong but much more common in southern China and Southeast Asia.

Not an endemic species – Other than Hong Kong, it can also be found in southern China and Vietnam. But it is hardly known outside Hong Kong. To be fair, it is even not known to most people in Hong Kong.

Megophrys brachykolos (Inger and Romer, 1961)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Megophryidae
Genus: Megophrys
Species: brachykolos

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

短腳角蟾, 短肢角蟾

Amphibians Asia HK Species Profiles

Painted Chorus Frog – Hong Kong Wildlife | 粗皮姬蛙 – 香港野生動物

The Painted chorus frog (Microhyla butleri) has many other common names such as Butler’s narrow-mouthed toad, Butler’s pigmy frog, Butler’s rice frog, Butler’s ricefrog, noisy frog, or Tubercled pygmy frog.

Microhyla butleri (Boulenger, 1900)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Microhylidae
Genus: Microhyla
Species: butleri

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

粗皮姬蛙, 巴氏小雨蛙

Africa Americas Asia Australia Europe HK Invertebrates Species Profiles

Scarab Beetle – Hong Kong Wildlife | 金龜子 – 香港野生動物

Because of its glamorous metallic colors, these were the popular bugs Hong Kong kids used to spend their springs and summers finding them in the bush back in the 1970’s to 80’s.

There are over 30,000 species of scarabs in the world.

In Hong Kong, the more common scarabs include The green chafer beetles (Anomala cupripes and Anomala corpulenta)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Superfamily: Scarabaeoidea
Family: Scarabaeidae (Latreille, 1802)

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

金龜子, 金龜


Aliens In Hong Kong

Believe it or not? Aliens are everywhere in Hong Kong. There must be some around you. Of course, I am talking about alien species – the species introduced outside their original distributions. From house cockroaches, apple snails, fire ants, to vertebrate as below. These are all not native to Hong Kong.

Asian water dragon (Physignathus cocincinus)

Whether if the Water monitor (Varanus salvator) is a native or introduced species is not confirmed. But many believe it is an introduced species.

Over 10-12 species of freshwater turtles can be found in the wild in Hong Kong. But only 5 of them are native.

  • Yellow pond turtle (Mauremys mutica)
  • Chinese stripe-necked turtle (Ocadia sinensis)
  • Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
  • Alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)
  • Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Also the Chinese box turtle (Cuora flavomarginata) and Amboina box turtle (Cuora amboinensis)

Birds introduced to Hong Kong includes:

  • Rock pigeon (Columba livia),
  • Asian emerald dove (Chalcophaps indica),
  • Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri),
  • Azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyanus),
  • House crow (Corvus splendens),
  • Huet’s fulvetta (Alcippe hueti),
  • Silver-eared mesia (Leiothrix argentauris),
  • Common myna (Acridotheres tristis)

And the critically endangered Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)

Mammals introduced to Hong Kong includes:

  • Domestic cat,
  • Domestic dog,
  • Domestic ox,
  • Domestic water buffalo,
  • Long-tailed macaque,

And the only squirrel species in here – the Pallas’s squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus)

Asia Birds HK Species Profiles

Red-whiskered Bulbul – Hong Kong Wildlife | 紅耳鵯 – 香港野生動物

Red-whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), or also called Crested bulbul, is a passerine bird in Asia, a member of the bulbul family. It is a resident frugivore found mainly in tropical Asia.

In Hong Kong, it is more common than most of other bulbuls such as the Sooty-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster).

Pycnonotus jocosus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Pycnonotus
Species: jocosus

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Asia HK Lizards Species Profiles

Asian Water Dragon – Hong Kong Wildlife | 長鬣蜥 – 香港野生動物

Never getting a PR ID card (permanent residency) in spite of residing in here for decades.

Expats who live in here and have their kids and grandkids bred, born and raised in here are called locals. But when it comes to wild animals it’s not how it works.

An alien species of Hong Kong – Among the oldest introduced lizards – the Asian water dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) is originally native to China and mainland Southeast Asia. It is also known as the Chinese water dragon, Thai water dragon, and green water dragon.

The Asian water dragon is the only all-green lizard in Hong Kong (if the Green iguanas and Madagascar day geckos have not yet developed local populations), not to be confused with the Australian water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii, formerly Physignathus lesueurii) which’s colors vary from brown, olive, dark gray to light gray.

Physignathus cocincinus (Cuvier, 1829)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Physignathus
Species: cocincinus

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

長鬣蜥, 水龍, 綠水龍, 中國水龍, 亞洲水龍

Africa Me Turtles

Wild Ploughshare Tortoise Is The Rarest Species I’ve Ever Found

Today is Endangered Species Day. (瀕危物種日)

The rarest animal I’ve ever found was the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). Only around 20 of them are in the wild. But that’s a subspecies of leopards. In terms of a full species, this is the rarest one in my experience.

Let me introduce the most endangered species I’ve ever found in the wild – the Ploughshare Tortoise of Madagascar.

It is also called Angonoka tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora).

Those big organizations will only tell you about the tigers, rhinos, marine mammals, etc. Probably it’s all about marketing which I have zero idea about.

Let me do something for this species which is TONS more endangered. Help me share this and spread the love before it goes extinct which could happen tomorrow or any day.

If you know of anyone on earth who’s ever seen one of these tortoises in the wild, definitely let me know!

Asia HK Species Profiles

Gray’s Chinese Gecko – Hong Kong Wildlife | 中國壁虎 – 香港野生動物

Gray’s Chinese gecko (Gekko chinensis) is a species of gecko endemic to southern China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan) and Hong Kong.

There are 8 species of geckos in Hong Kong. The Gray’s Chinese gecko is the second most common gecko after the “house gecko”, Bowring’s gecko (Hemidactylus bowringii)

Gekko chinensis (Gray, 1842)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Gekko
Species: chinensis

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

中國壁虎, 中國蜥虎, 中國守宮, 檐蛇, 簷蛇