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Japan:Rare butterfly rediscovered in Bhutan

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Laaska News Oct. 27,2011

Japanese researchers have recorded a rare swallow-tailed butterfly in the Himalayan country of Bhutan, the first sighting in 78 years.

A team from the Butterfly Society of Japan made the find while conducting a field survey in Bhutan in August, accompanied by an NHK crew.

The team found the Ludlow’s Bhutan Swallowtail in a valley 2,200 meters above sea level in the country’s eastern mountainous region. The site is near where the swallowtail was discovered in 1933.

The NHK camera captured the butterfly, which is the size of an adult palm. The butterfly had fluttering wings with dark red markings and three tails.

Only 5 specimens of the butterfly are known to exist. They were collected in the valley in 1933 and 1934 and are on display in the Natural History Museum in London.

The August survey was allowed after a half-year negotiation with the Bhutan government. The Japanese researchers had heard that a local forest ranger found a butterfly that looked like the Bhutan Swallowtail 2 years ago.

Laaska News.