May 28, 2011

A Jyako-ageha (Atrophaneura alcinous) swallowtail in Yamanouchi

In the bright afternoon sun, I saw a Jyako-ageha swallowtail (male) floating gracefully from flower to flower to suck flower nectar.

A Jyako-ageha swallowtail is the messenger of summer and its translucent front wings will sparkle in the dazzling sunlight of summer.

This elegant butterfly has a wingspan of 10cm or more and is the largest and most beautiful butterfly in Kita-kamakura.

"Jyako-ageha" means a musk-scented swallowtail in Japanese and an adult male emits a strong musk-like scent from the tip of its abdomen to declare its poisonousness to predators.

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