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Latest Butterfly Stories

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2010-01-12 08:25:00

California butterflies are reeling from a one-two punch of climate change and land development, says an unprecedented analysis led by UC Davis butterfly expert Arthur Shapiro. The new analysis, scheduled to be published online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, gives insights on how a major and much-studied group of organisms is reacting to the Earth's warming climate. "Butterflies are not only charismatic to the public, but also widely used as...

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2009-12-02 13:45:00

As of Dec. 1, four Painted Lady butterflies are living aboard the International Space Station. These "butterflynauts" are part of an educational experiment that was launched Nov. 16 on space shuttle Atlantis and transferred to the space station. Students of all ages have been following the tiny crew's development from larvae to butterflies. "All four larvae formed chrysalises and two emerged as butterflies on Nov. 30. Two more butterflies emerged overnight," said Stefanie Countryman, BioServe...

2009-12-02 11:35:00

Release and photo available at: http://www.nsbri.org/NewsPublicOut/Release.epl?r=129 HOUSTON, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As of Dec. 1, four Painted Lady butterflies are living aboard the International Space Station. These "butterflynauts" are part of an educational experiment that was launched Nov. 16 on space shuttle Atlantis and transferred to the Space Station. Students of all ages have been following the tiny crew's development from larvae to butterflies. "All four larvae...

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2009-11-22 07:37:04

The mysterious Monarch butterfly, which migrates annually between Canada and Mexico, is now facing a new peril: another insect thriving in Western Mexican forests. Some 8,000 oyamel fir trees were cut down in July to remove beetles that threaten the Monarch's ages-old migration. But now another small beetle has since taken to devouring the savory tree trunks, further endangering the butterflies' winter colonies. Homero Gomez, president of El Rosario Sanctuary, says, "We are working to...

2009-11-16 13:50:00

HOUSTON, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Students of all ages can follow the "butterflynauts" aboard the International Space Station as they develop from larvae into Painted Lady butterflies. The educational experiment launched Nov. 16 on space shuttle Atlantis, and the butterfly habitat will be transferred to the Space Station within the first 2-3 days of the mission. "About 100 elementary and middle school classrooms across the U.S. are participating in a pilot study by setting up...

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2009-11-06 07:12:10

Scientists find a population of butterflies that appears to be splitting into 2 species Breaking up may actually not be hard to do, say scientists who've found a population of tropical butterflies that may be on its way to a split into two distinct species. The cause of this particular break-up? A shift in wing color and mate preference. In a paper published this week in the journal Science, the researchers describe the relationship between diverging color patterns in Heliconius butterflies...

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2009-10-21 13:58:08

A clever structure in the ear of a tropical butterfly that potentially makes it able to distinguish between high and low pitch sounds has been discovered by scientists from the University of Bristol. The team believes that the remarkable structure may be associated with the detection of predators, in particular birds.  The Blue Morpho butterflies (Morpho peleides), native to Central and South America, are more famous for their amazing wing coloration and now turn out to have ears on...

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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...


Latest Butterfly Reference Libraries

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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