Guguan is known as the "Kingdom of Insects". Experiencing pleasant surprises of close encounters with fireflies, moths, butterflies, and cicadas, and the sight of beetles alongside mountain paths, bring moments of delight to the visitors.
As the place has been explored more than a century ago, the settlers developed the camphor, tea, forestry, coal mining and silicon sand quarrying industries; and, in the process of this development, numerous old trails were established.
The Lion Mountain (Shishan), Tengping, Liouliao, and Danankeng trails of the Lion’s Head area; the Daping Forest Trail and Penglai River Ecology Trail of the Nanjhuang area; the Wujhishan Historic Trail; and the beginning and intermediate Jialishan trails all record traces of history. Walk along these trails and you will be amazed to discover natural forests of ancient trees, flourishing vascular plants such as the large sea bean, and unique species of ferns. You will also be delighted by sights of eroded riverbank and the abundance of water plants.
This scenic area is located on the boundary of Hsinchu County and Miaoli County where the hills enter the buffer zone of the mountainous region. The terrain here generally can be divided into river terraces, rugged hills, and tall mountains.
In the summer, high temperatures, humidity, massive rainfall, and tropical cyclones characterize the climate of the Lion’s Head. The hottest months are July and August with an average temperature of 27.9 ℃. January and February are the coolest months of the year, with an average temperature of 15.45 ℃. The intensity of the rainfall is very high during the period from March to September. The region is very dry in the winter months from October to February.
Candidopotamon rathbuni is commonly called “Pond Crab” or “Storm Crab” in Taiwan and can be easily observed in the rivers of mountain districts. This species mainly perches under the stones or in their seams in ravine streams, yet some rest on the mud of caves. Generally, freshwater crab is not edible since its interior contains varieties of parasites.
Candidia barbata Regan is commonly called “Suann-liâm-á” or “Tsít-ki-hue” (a flower) in the Taiwan dialect. Due to its condition of living being similar to the “Khoo-hue” (Varicorhinus Barbatulus), the two species are often misconstrued. Moreover, its shape and structure are nearly identical to Hypophyhalmichthys militrix, to which the trivial name “Suann-liâm-á” has been assigned.
“Tsít-ki-hue” (a flower) is named after the black line that runs from its gills to its tail along the side of its body. This is one of the foremost characteristics of Candidia barbatus Regon.
Candidia barbatus Regon is a special breed in Taiwan. As an adult, it can reach lengths of up to 15cm. It favors cold and warm water, is adept at swimming in strong streams, and perches in the intersection of the midstream and main-stream branches of the shoal rivers and lakes. The young Candidia barbatus are accustomed to gather for foraging at the point where the water flows slowly, and its habitual behavior is characterized as omnivorous and polyphagic, as is often seen in the expansion of its abdomen region.
Acrossocheilus paradoxus favors perching at the point where the river flows rapidly and contains a highly dissolved oxygen concentration. Acrossocheilus paradoxus is a special breed in Taiwan; its body presents the color of Yellow-Green while the abdomen region appears slightly white in color, and on the side of its body it contains seven black belts. These features can be observed clearly during its infancy, but when it achieves adult status, the color of its body dims and the black belts become unclear.
Acrossocheilus paradoxus is omnivorous and mainly ingests moss on rocks and water insects. The roe is not edible; its poison causes diarrhea, giddiness, and vomiting.
Taiwanese Varicorhinus Barbatulus earns its unique name from its chin, which appears as a shovel. This species can be easily observed in most rivers in Taiwan, and due to the bitter taste of its intestines, “Khoo-hue” (bitter flower) is its common name in the Taiwan dialect. Moreover, it is famously called “Water Firefly”, since its mouth grows on the lower part of its face, and when it ingests the moss on rocks its body would turn upward and the silver line on its abdominal region would shine in the water.