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Latest Butterfly Stories

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2009-10-09 08:43:15

A team of researchers from the State University of Pennsylvania (USA) and the Universidad Aut³noma de Madrid (UAM) have developed a technique to replicate biological structures, such as butterfly wings, on a nano scale. The resulting biomaterial could be used to make optically active structures, such as optical diffusers for solar panels. Insects' colors and their iridescence (the ability to change colors depending on the angle) or their ability to appear metallic are determined by tiny...

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2009-10-05 13:50:45

A high-speed chase across the Panama Canal in a Boston Whaler may sound like the beginning of another James Bond film"”but the protagonist of this story brandishes a butterfly net and studies the effects of climate change on insect migrations at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "Our long-term study shows that El Niño, a global climate pattern, drives Sulfur butterfly migrations," said Robert Srygley, former Smithsonian post doctoral fellow who is now a...

2009-09-25 13:32:10

Monarch butterflies locate their winter home in Mexico through a key mechanism in their antennae, scientists in Massachusetts said. Scientists have long known that butterfly antennae can detect odors, wind direction and vibration, said Dr. Steven Reppert, chair of neurobiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. But its role in precise orientation over the course of butterfly migration is an intriguing new discovery, one that may spark a new line of investigation into neural...

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2009-09-25 06:25:00

After years of theorizing about how Monarch butterflies find their way to Mexico for the winter, scientists have finally discovered that their antennas help them navigate the journey. Researchers confirmed the finding when they painted their antennas black and observed them losing their way. Butterflies have only the sun in the sky as a point of reference for direction, and since the sun is always moving, they have to constantly adjust in order to stay on the right path throughout the day....

2009-09-10 14:25:25

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have traced the evolution of a species of tropical butterfly, infected with a bacterium that kills males, by comparing current butterfly populations with more than 200 museum specimens. The bacteria, called Wolbachia, are a parasitic microbe and are known to significantly alter the reproductive capabilities of a high proportion of insect species, including wasps and fruit fly. The team found that the male-to-female ratio in butterfly populations...

7c03f88f1c7869518c66f086b0c30ef71
2009-08-31 11:50:00

Travelers to the neotropics"”the tropical lands of the Americas"”might be forgiven for thinking that all of the colorful insects flittering over sunny puddles or among dense forest understory are butterflies. In fact, many are not. Some are moths that have reinvented themselves as butterflies, converging on the daytime niche typically dominated by their less hairy relatives. Now, a new revision of the taxonomic relationships among one such group of insects, the subfamily...

31340967506471e3cda5475bbcb6ce141
2009-08-14 10:20:00

Know-how developed at the UFZ is already being applied in Australia and Israel, where monitoring networks are being set up. In Germany the UFZ set up the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme five years ago together with the German Society for the Conservation of Butterflies and Moths (GfS). Since then, more than 500 volunteers have been counting and recording butterflies with a standardized method all over the country, providing the researchers with important data on distributions and trends of...

2009-08-11 10:40:22

A U.S. researcher says climate change affects are as important to animals as they are to insects such as butterflies and beetles. Animals such as polar bears, tigers and dolphins are tremendously important, but mostly because they help define how we think about our relationship with the natural world, University of Notre Dame Assistant Professor Jessica Hellmann said. But when it comes to the functioning of ecosystems, insects are where it's at. They carry diseases, they pollinate and they...

07f7662d319bdd66c4f402ddcf1286301
2009-07-29 15:05:00

If it were up to Jessica Hellmann, insects such as butterflies and beetles would wield just as much conservation clout as traditional conservation icons, such as polar bears, tigers and dolphins.Why?"Animals such as polar bears, tigers and dolphins are tremendously important, but mostly because they help define how we think about our relationship with the natural world," says Hellmann. "But when it comes to the functioning of ecosystems, insects are where it's at."Why are insects so...

2009-07-03 13:43:32

The reintroduction of the Large Blue butterfly to Britain offers lessons in helping plants and animals threatened by climate change, scientists said. The Large Blue, whose scientific name is Maculinea arion, was successfully reintroduced 25 years ago after becoming extinct in 1979, scientists at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research said in a release Friday. Large Blues imported from Sweden were aided by the creation of small heat-shielded habitats, which could give today's...


Latest Butterfly Reference Libraries

0_3add5c05a285ba8152d462fb481aa2ad
2009-04-28 15:52:13

Buddaleja utahensis is more commonly known as the Utah Butterfly Bush or the Panamint Butterfly Bushand is indigenous to the southwestern United States. Growing nearly 20 inches tall, this bristly shrub features expasive branching network with a wide circumference. Its leaves give off a silvery green color resulting from the fine hairs that cover the plant. Each leaf has a bumpy texture with sides that curl under and measures approximately 1inch. Bundles of tubular soft green flowers...

40_b92cebd8cd9f9a184d4c11970cebf004
2007-12-27 10:26:59

The Rothschild's Birdwing (Ornithoptera rothschildi), is a large butterfly from the birdwing genus endemic to the Arfak Mountains, Western New Guinea. The Rothschild's Birdwing has the most restricted distribution of all birdwings. Its preferred habitat is flowering meadows in an altitude from 6500 to 8800 feet. The females can reach a wingspan up to 6 inches. The forewings are dark brown to blackish brown with creamy white to grayish spots. The hindwings rimmed with black scales and have...

40_db06ad7924a78fe45f9bc9abce14bc3f
2007-12-27 09:55:38

The Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion), is Australia's largest native butterfly species. Cairns Birdwings are found southwards from Mount Webb and Cooktown to Mackay in Queensland. Favored habitat is primary rainforest, although the species will breed readily in a home garden if the correct larval host plants are grown. Males have a predominately black upper wing with emerald green flashes, however the female lacks the green coloring, having a plain black upper wing with white...

40_7c45488a5958552b71928d24f823347f
2007-12-27 09:52:26

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae), is the largest butterfly in the world. The species was named by Lord Walter Rothschild in 1907, in honor of Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. The first European to discover the species was Albert Stewart Meek in 1906, a collector employed by Lord Walter Rothschild to collect natural history specimens from Papua New Guinea. Although the first specimen was taken with the aid of a small shotgun, Meek soon...

40_6555f8ff2bed52a39f78de5130f06fab
2005-09-12 10:40:35

The Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) is a common swallowtail butterfly found in western North America. Both the upper and lower sides of its wings are black, but the upper wing has a broad yellow stripe across it, which gives the butterfly an overall yellow appearance. Striking blue spots adorn the rear edge of the rear wing, and the characteristic tails of the swallowtails. Its wingspan is 7-9 cm and its body is somewhat shorter than the rather similar Western Tiger Swallowtail, with...

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Word of the Day
tesla
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.