Native Butterfly in Japan May Have Gone Extinct

Society

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)--Celastrina ogasawaraensis, an endangered native butterfly in Japan, may have gone extinct, it was learned Thursday.

The Japanese Environment Ministry said on the day that captive breeding of the butterfly has ended up in failure.

The butterfly, whose Japanese name is "Ogasawarashijimi," is endemic to Tokyo's Ogasawara Islands in the Pacific. In the wild, the butterfly was last confirmed in 2018 in Hahajima, an island in the chain and the last known habitat of the species.

If further searches fail to find the butterfly, it will be the first native butterfly in Japan to become extinct.

The population of celastrina ogasawaraensis has started to decrease rapidly around 1989 partly under the threat of alien lizard green anole, which preys upon the butterfly.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press