Yangshuo Day 04 – Chicken Cave

Bugs (or not)

Caterpillars crawled around in the dirt that was scattered around the base of the cave, and groups of ladybirds crawled around in the moss outside. For some reason, ladybirds are referred to as 'ladybugs' in the United States, despite them not being bugs (not that they are birds neither!). The term tends to be incorrectly used by most laypersons, as a bug is any insect that belongs to the order Hemiptera (one of the 25 insect orders)--which means that all bugs are insects, but that not all insects are bugs.

Ladybirds (Family: Coccinellidae) in the moss

One of the main traits of bugs are their mouths, which specialise in piercing and subsequently sucking their food out after an injection of digestive chemicals, rather than chewing their food like most other insects do. Aphids such as the Milkweed aphid (Aphis nerii), which I previously wrote about, are monophagous bugs and use their mouths to suck out the sap from plants, just like cicadas. Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius), on the other hand, use their mouths to suck blood.

Hover the cursor over the image of this Scarlet marsh hawk (Aethriamanta brevipennis) to see it chewing its food!

As we walked out from the cave, a man on a motorbike suddenly stopped and offered to organise a taxi for us for a 'modest' fee of CNY100. We immediately declined of course, since we were utterly shocked by such an exorbitant price, which caused him to speed off in frustration. We instead took the scenic route that meandered around the fields with the karst outcrops as a backdrop. Lush fields surrounded us as the sun began to set, and left everything awash in its warm golden glow.

Lappet moth caterpillar (Trabala sp.)

We found no way to cross the river from the crags of 'Space Buttress' and 'Low Mountain', so were forced to backtrack to the main road. We did not have to wait too long before the #1 bus CNY3 to Yangshuo's North Station arrived, but by then all we were thinking about was the stir-fry (CNY13) that awaited us.

Day 4 Expenditure

Next (Day 05) : Moon Hill