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Latest Butterfly Stories

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2008-05-10 00:05:00

British researchers have discovered a bird species, called great tits, that has adapted to climate change by breeding earlier in the year. By doing this, the tits are able to keep apace with the earlier emergence of the caterpillars on which the birds feed.  Interestingly, while the researchers observed this behavior in the British birds, the same birds in the Netherlands did not adjust to the shift in climate. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) told BBC News that...

2008-02-21 13:41:25

Circular markings on creatures such as butterflies are effective against predators because they are conspicuous features, not because they mimic the eyes of the predators' own enemies, according to research published today in the journal, Behavioral Ecology[1]. Zoologists based at the University of Cambridge challenge the 150-year-old theory about why these markings are effective against predators. Many animals possess protective markings to avoid predation, including patterns to reduce the...

2008-02-14 00:30:00

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History will open a new butterfly pavilion this Friday.  The exhibit, called "Butterflies and Plants:  Partners in Evolution", will be a permanent part of the museum and will provide visitors the opportunity to interact with the colorful monarchs up close and learn about their close relationship with plants over millions of years.  The pavilion will be located next to the insect zoo, and will contain tropical gardens, brightly...

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2008-01-09 19:30:00

Genetic information about the biological clock of monarch butterflies might reveal information about our circadian rhythms. A study was published online in the Public Library of Science and their Biology Journal which found that the biological clocks of butterflies help them use the sun as a compass. Dr. Steven Reppert, a neurobiologist from the University of Massachusetts led the study's seven-member research team. His reasoning? "A butterfly's brain is no bigger than the head of a pin, and...

2007-10-30 00:00:00

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Researchers who helped discover a new species of Mexican butterfly are offering to sell the naming rights to raise money to fund more research. Co-discoverer Andrew Warren is hoping to raise at least $50,000 by auctioning off the rights to name the 4-inch "owl eye" butterfly, which lives in Sonora, a Mexican state bordering Arizona. "That would support at least two years of research for our team down in Mexico," Warren said. "Money goes a long way down here in Mexico."...

2007-10-13 05:10:27

FALCON HEIGHTS, Texas (AP) - A tiny green butterfly not seen in the United States in more than 70 years likes the new butterfly garden at Falcon State Park, experts said. Berry Nall of Falcon Heights took a photograph of his find on Monday, posted it on his Web site and asked members of an online mailing list to help him identify it. "I tried to get as many pictures as I could, but it took off," Nall said. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department informed him that he had taken a picture of a...

2007-03-24 13:57:41

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Taiwan will cordon off part of a highway to create a safe passage for a massive seasonal butterfly migration in the coming days, an official said Saturday. The milkweed butterflies - which are indigenous to the island off China and have distinct white dots on purple brown wings - migrate in late March from southern Taiwan to the north, where they lay eggs and die. The young butterflies then fly south every November to a warm mountain valley near the southern city of...

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2006-07-05 16:10:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wildlife officials in Mexico, the United States and Canada have agreed to work together to protect the Monarch butterfly, which makes a spectacular migration every year from Canada to Mexico. Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, Canada's Wildlife Service and Parks Agency and Mexico's Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources have designated 13 wildlife preserves as...

2006-06-15 05:18:35

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists said on Wednesday they have created a distinctive red and yellow butterfly in the laboratory by interbreeding two different species in a way similar to what they believe has occurred in nature. The laboratory hybrid is nearly identical to a wild species of butterfly in Colombia known as Heliconius heurippa. "We recreated the evolutionary steps that may have given rise to Heliconius heurippa, a hybrid butterfly species, in the lab," said Jesus Mavarez, of...

2006-06-15 05:15:00

LONDON -- Scientists said on Wednesday they have created a distinctive red and yellow butterfly in the laboratory by interbreeding two different species in a way similar to what they believe has occurred in nature. The laboratory hybrid is nearly identical to a wild species of butterfly in Colombia known as Heliconius heurippa. "We recreated the evolutionary steps that may have given rise to Heliconius heurippa, a hybrid butterfly species, in the lab," said Jesus Mavarez, of the Smithsonian...


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...

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
kenspeckle
  • Having so marked an appearance as easily to be recognized.
This word may come from the Swedish 'kanspak,' quick at recognizing persons or things, or else from confusion with 'conspicuous.'