Butterflies in high altitudes
in the wind on mountain ridges, Ko-hiodoshi butterflies (Aglais
urticae) search for flowers in high altitudes. These butterflies fly
from flower to flower, and hustle about vigorously. They belong to the family
Nymphalidae, and live in mountainous regions. The species called Ko-hiodoshi
in Japanese (meaning literally, "small, the pretty shade of scarlet
strings of Japanese armor"), such as the Tateha-cho (literally,
"the upright-winged butterfly"), has superb orange-and-black patterns
on its inner-wing surfaces, yet when the wings are folded closed and only
the outer surfaces show, it looks like a fallen leaf. They are young lively
butterflies, and they enjoy the sunlight in the mountains.
They are found in northern Japan; e.g. in Hokkaido, but they also inhabit
the highlands of the northern Alps and the southern Alps on Honshu, Central
Japan. They live in the mountains in alpine zones.
When the snow of a snow-covered ravine begins
to melt away, the flower Ko-iwa-kagami(Schizocodon soldanelloides
alpina) blooms. The Japanese name means small rock-mirror, referring
to the plant's shiny leaves and rocky habitat. Subsequently, Hakusan-ichige,
Shinano-kinbai (both of these species are members of the Rununculus
family) , and Takane-bara (alpine-rose) are in full bloom at the
same time. Summer has come for the alpine flora.
The Ko-hiodoshi alights on a moss-grown rock, and then flies
to a Ko-iwa-kagami to extract the nectar from the flower, and then
it alights onto a fallen tree. And after that, it flies out and flutters
in the wind that blows in the mountains.
She flies like a fairy, so when I look at her I forget the pain of mountain-climbing
for a while.
Please click on a thumbnail image to view the larger photo.