Honshu White Admiral butterfly (Limenitis glorifica)
Species: L. glorifica
Binomial name: Limenitis glorifica
Common names: Honshu White Admiral butterfly
Limenitis glorifica is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family and is endemic to the island of Honshu, in Japan, where it is found It is found in the open, or in light shrub land in comparatively dry warm- temperate habitats. Depending on the temperature it can have up completes one to four generations each year. It is thought that due to our climate this species will have two generations per year.
Limenitis glorifica is a colourful new species of butterfly to New Zealand. It has a front wing length of) 27 - 38 mm and has vivid single character pattern on a black background. The undersides of the wings have a white and black pattern on an orange background.
Limenitis glorifica was introduced to New Zealand as a biological agent against the Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) which is found from Norethland to Stewart Island. Japanese honey suckle is an invasive, perennial vine that spreads by rhizomes, above-ground runners, and sometimes by seeds. It can infest forests but has the most impact on forest margins. It may form a complete blanket over small trees and shrubs in coastal situations, and is increasingly troublesome in shrub land, forest margins and open roadsides here in New Zealand. Limenitis glorifica introduction aim is to limit the shading effects of this weed by reducing its biomass, slowing its vegetative spread, and reducing seed production. The larvae only feed on the Caprifoliaceae plant family, which does not include any New Zealand native plants. New Zealand’s native honeysuckle is completely unrelated to the Japanese honeysuckle.
Disease-free larvae were shipped to New Zealand in 2013 after host testing was completed in Japan. The host testing was done in Japan due to difficulties mating the butterflies in captivity here in New Zealand. The butterflies mating is behaviourally complex, and occurs on the wing high in the air, and scientist here were unable to achieve mating in containment.
Limenitis glorifica females lay about 200 eggs almost exclusively on the foliage of Lonicera japonica. After hatching the larvae spend winter inside shelters constructed from honeysuckle leaves hanging from the stem. Pupation occurs late in summer.
A dorsal view.
The underside of the wings.
A photo showing the dorsal and ventral wings.
A video filmed in Japan of Limenitis glorifica the 'Honshu White Admiral butterly'.
Thanks to Wikipedia for text and Information: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/