Parantica sita flies 1350 kilometers across the ocean to Okinawa
January 7, 2015 Ryota Nakamura of Ryukyu Shimpo
Last November, Yoshiharu Miyagi, administrative director of non-profit organization Yanbarusha, which promotes the connection of Yanbaru’s nature and people, found a Parantica sita, a butterfly from Ishikawa Prefecture. The butterfly had flown from the mainland to a forest in Motobu Town, Okinawa. The butterfly crossed the ocean and traveled 1,350 kilometers. Yanbarusha has worked together with Shioya Elementary School on butterfly observations since 2013. Miyagi says, “I want kids to get more interested.”
On November 1 when Miyagi was driving, he saw a butterfly with different wing patterns. It turned out to be a Parantica sita. A mark on its wing read; “Shirayama JMC 136 8/31.”
A member of Yanbarusha researched online and found out it was a male butterfly marked at Shirayama City in Ishikawa Prefecture on August 31.
Takeshi Nishimura,the principal of Hokuyo Elementary School in Shirayama City, marked the butterfly. Nishimura has been involved in markings for eight years and also worked prior to that on markings with students of another school.
Parantica sita is known to fly a long distance and had previously been registered as having flown to Okinawa. Nishimura said, “It could be one from further north in Shiryama City. It is impressive such a small butterfly can fly to Okinawa.”
Miyagi started helping Shioya Elementary School’s butterfly observations at Yako, Ogimi Village a couple of years ago. Miyagi showed pictures of the Parantica sita that flew from Ishikawa Prefecture, to school children. They were amazed by it.
Learning that Nishimura, who also observes butterflies with children, made markings, Miyagi said, “This may be fate. It would be nice to have exchange observation meetings with children at Shioya Elementary School.”
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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