Having seen your web site mentioned on the BBC’s technology show Click (www.bbc.co.uk/click), I though I’d drop you an email to see if you can help me with this picture that my wife took of a butterfly in Japan. I’ve tried comparing it against images of other Japanese butterflies but I’ve failed to match it. I hope you can help.
As our readership becomes more global, we are under constant pressure to correctly identify many specimen from exotic locations. In your case, the best we can do is a family. Your butterfly is in the Brushfooted Butterfly family Nymphalidae. It seems to resemble one of the Fritillaries, but that is a guess. Even though we located a site devoted to Japanese butterflies, we could not find your specimen.
Update: Identified as Indian Fritillary in a comment
March 26, 2011
We just received a comment identifying this as a female Argynnis hyperbius, commonly called the Indian Fritillary. We found a photo illustrating the sexual dimorphism in a mounted pair on World FieldGuide Website.