Picture 1 Let's survive the winter together, by saving energy.
Picture 2 It's pretty warm now. Shall we leave the perch and look for flowers ?
Picture 3 Let's enjoy sunbathing.@@
[ RYUKYU-ASAGIMADARA ]
( Scientific name: Ideopsis similis )
* When walking in the forest near Ushuku Fishing Port in Kasari-town on a cold winter day, you may happen to notice a host of butterflies hanging on the twigs of trees if you look back after passing by them unawares. What at first look like dead leaves turns out to be Ryukyu-Asagimadara butterflies. If you search more carefully for them, you will find them here and there, hanging on twigs or vines and swaying to the passing wind. It's a scene that takes on sort of a visionary atmosphere.
* The Ryukyu-Asagimadara resembles the migratory butterfly Asagimadara (cf. the back number of Dec., 2006) in shape and color, but a bit smaller in size. Its main habitat is Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Taiwan and Ryukyu Islands. Although Amami is its northernmost range, stray ones are sometimes found up north in Kyushu. Ryukyu-Asagimadaras don't migrate like Asagimadaras and their most characteristic behavior observed in Amami and Okinawa is that they flock together in winter, in valleys or forests near the seashore facing south, to pass the winter as an imago.
* When the temperature is below 12 degrees Celsius, they don't move at all, as if they are lifeless. But when the sun shines and the temperature gets around 15 degrees, they start to spread their wings as if they are preparing to take flight. When it gets warmer, they eventually leave their perch to suck nectar from nearby flowers or sunbathe somewhere in a sunny spot. When the temperature drops toward evening, they fly home to roost again. Such scenes can be observed until mid-March.
|¦To enlarge, please click the photo.|