Black rice paper butterfly found for the first time in Okinawa

Black rice paper butterfly found for the first time in Okinawa

The newly found black rice paper butterfly (left). At the house of Yasuhiro Oshiro in Naha on September 25.

September 26, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

The rice paper butterfly characterized by its black and white patchy pattern is the largest butterfly in Japan. Its black color variety was found on September 25. It is very rare to see such a butterfly.

The butterfly has wings that are more than 90 percent black.
Doctor of Agriculture Yasuhiro Oshiro, the head of the Fly Butterflies Around Shurijo Castle Association, said, “All of the rice paper butterflies that we have found so far have wings that are about 60 percent black. This new butterfly is one in 200,000 to 300,000. There is no doubt that it is a new breed.”

Oshiro heard about the newly found butterfly from one of his friends. It is a female, which emerged from a pupa on September 24. The pupa itself is no different from those of regular rice paper butterflies. Oshiro said, “I have been involved the study of insects for 50 years and have raised between 20,000 and 30,000 rice paper butterflies. This is the first time that I have seen such a black one. I have never seen one of these at the Garden of Manko Lake where more than 100,000 butterflies have been raised.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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