A Butterfly Fancier’s Delight

With every gust of wind
The butterfly changes its place
on the willow


Hello to all of our loyal readers. We hope that you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to some well-deserved rest this weekend.

There’s a slight chill in the air these days as summer reluctantly gives way to autumn. Here and there, green leaves are beginning to take on slight yellow hue and the scorching daytime temperatures of last week are mellowing by the day.

In Kamikochi, it’s a spell of relative peace between two normally busy periods: the summertime tourist rush and the wildly popular autumn foliage season. People are more focused on back to school than back to nature, but there’s still plenty of the latter to enjoy!

One of the many reasons to visit Kamikochi this weekend is to experience the butterfly season of late summer. The picture at the top of the page (as always, courtesy of the folks at Five Sense) shows a Parantica sita, or chestnut tiger as it is more commonly known. This species is famous for travelling long distances, sometimes ranging up to 2000km. The reason for their wanderlust remains the subject of debate among experts.

Here we see an Argynnis paphia, or silver-washed Fritillary. I gave “fritillary” a Googs and learned that it derived from a Latin word meaning “chessboard.” Whether or not you see any resemblance between a checker pattern and the intricate mottling of the butterflies wings, they are lovely to look at. If you get close enough to observe one resting on a leaf, you might be able to view the green underside of the orange wings.

The third entry in this lepidopteran identity parade is the Araschnia burejana, or “large map.” It is known to change its colors from season to season, but for some reason, the pattern featuring the red stripes can only be seen at Kamikochi (or so I’m told…)

Lastly, we turn our gaze to the Papilio maackii, or alpine black swallowtail. This species is found at various locations around Asia and is a favorite among the bloggers at Five Sense, due to its lovely pigmentation. You may be able to spot them in sunny areas along the Azusa River.

Well, that concludes this week’s blog which would not have been possible without the expertise of Five Sense bloggers, Mori and Sakura. They contributed not only beautiful pictures but also insightful commentary about the various species’ unique qualities. Thanks as always and keep the A-1 content coming!

Till next time, be well and stay safe.

Sources of Information:

Nature Guide Five Sense Kamikochi blog: https://fivesense.guide/blog/today/31287/