Vienna zoo breeds Japan's national butterfly
NHK -- Aug 07
A zoo in the Austrian capital of Vienna has bred a great purple emperor butterfly, Omurasaki in Japanese, from an egg after receiving caterpillars from a conservation group in Japan.

The species known as Japan's national symbol is found in the forests of Tamba City in the western prefecture of Hyogo. The group in Tamba donated the caterpillars to the Schonbrunn Zoo four years ago.

The zoo uses leaves from imported enoki, or Chinese hackberry trees, to feed the caterpillars. The humidity and temperature levels match those of the insect's native habitat.

The butterfly recently developed from a pupa. The egg had been laid at the zoo.

The person in charge of breeding the butterflies says they are delighted that one has emerged from its chrysalis after much difficulty.

He says he wants to visit Tamba someday to learn more about breeding this species.

The great purple emperor butterfly has become a symbol of the exchanges between Japan and Austria.

The head of the Japanese conservation group in Tamba praised the zoo's achievement, noting that the butterflies are acting as a bridge between the two countries.

News source: NHK
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