Friday, September 30, 2016

Common Butterflies in Yakushima

I get asked quite a bit about butterflies, and I admit, I have a hard time remembering the English, so here are a few of the butterflies I've passed and that you might pass as well! I know I'm missing some common ones (especially the Hypolimnas bolina リュウキュウムラサキ which just won't stay still for me), but as I have more time, I hope to be uploading more photos and notes, and perhaps make a page for moths, too.

Papilio maackii
(Papilionid/Swallowtail family)
Alpine Black Swallowtail

One of my favorites for its irridescent blue/aqua/black coloration.
Papilio helenus (Papilionid/Swallowtail family)
Red Helen

In this photo, the white markings on the hindwings are mostly hidden. There are a few other species of back swallowtails, too, that I don't have photos of (yet). These include P. protenor (クロアゲハ, the Spangle) and P. memnon (ナガサキアゲハ, the Great Mormon)
Graphium sarpedon (Papilionid/Swallowtail family)

Common Bluebottle or Blue Triangle

These often congregate at shallow puddles or streams.
Parantica sita (Nymphalid family)

Chestnut Tiger

These butterflies follow an annual migration south, and some may be tagged with numbers on a wing. You may also spot similar species from various islands.

Hebomoia glaucippe (Pierid family)
Great Orange Tip

What image could be more tropical than one of these east-asian beauties on a hibiscus flower?
Dichorragia nesimachus (Nymphalid family)

If you haven't noticed, I love iridescent blue/green/black insects!
Eurema sp. (Pierid family)
Grass Yello Butterflies

I suppose I should leave photography of flighty little yellow butterflies to the pros! But I'll always have a soft-spot for yellow butterflies because my father used to make up bedtime stories about the adventures of a particularly brave one.
Cyrestis thyodamas (Nymphalid family)
Common Map

This is the first butterfly I learned in Yakushima. I often see them on early morning jogs in the summer.
 Udara dilecta (Lycaenid/Blue family)

Of course, there are many species of similar butterflies with gray-white wings that open up to reveal iridescent indigo-shaded hues.

Argynnis hyperbius (Nymphalid famiy)
(Indian?) Fritillary

I love to see fritillaries flying around above the bamboo grass and rhododendrons!