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Latest Butterfly Stories

2005-11-20 14:55:00

By Anahi Rama EL ROSARIO, Mexico -- Wildlife officials say good weather should bring a surge in the number of monarch butterflies migrating to Mexico this year, after last year's cold resulted in the lowest numbers in more than a decade. Each fall tens of millions of the bright orange and black butterflies begin arriving in central Mexico's Michoacan state to winter in the fir trees after a 3,000-mile (4,800-km) trek from Canada that fascinates biologists. At El Rosario reserve, one of five...

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2005-11-08 15:56:44

MEXICO CITY -- As many as 200 million Monarch butterflies may migrate to Mexico this year - a nearly tenfold increase over 2004, when unfavorable weather, pollution and deforestation caused a drastic decline in the population, environmental officials said Tuesday. Last year, fewer than 23 million butterflies survived long enough to leave habitats in the United States and Canada for sanctuaries in the state of Mexico, which borders Mexico City, and neighboring Michoacan state. That was...

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2005-11-04 06:20:00

By Chris Aspin LLANO DE LAS PAPAS, Mexico -- Cows ran for cover and schoolchildren wearing black and orange wings cheered as an ultralight pilot tracking the monarch butterfly migration ended his 3,000-mile journey from Canada to Mexico on Thursday. Vico Gutierrez flew his plane alongside the bright orange and black butterflies for 72 days and landed near the Angangueo forest sanctuary set aside for them in Mexico, where they rest after an annual migration that fascinates biologists. It was...

2005-10-05 14:25:00

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Flowering plants near ponds may owe their pollination not only to the winged creatures of the air, but also to the finned ones of the deep. Scientists have discovered that fish indirectly help spread pollen among flowers near the water. That's because they eat dragonfly larva, which live in freshwater ponds and other water bodies. Adult dragonflies are major predators of bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators. The result is a simple but unexpected cascade: The...

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2005-08-04 08:15:00

MEXICO CITY -- The annual arrival of millions of Monarch butterflies from the forests of eastern Canada to the central Mexican mountains for the winter is an aesthetic and scientific wonder. And this year, they won't be flying alone. A crew of two plans to accompany the butterflies on their 3,415 mile-journey while riding in an oversized hang-glider painted with giant versions of the orange, black and white wings of the Monarch. Their aim is to raise awareness about the need to better...

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2005-08-01 18:10:00

Jerusalem -- While "navigation" systems in automobiles are a fairly new (and still costly) innovation, monarch butterflies have managed for millennia to navigate their way for a distance of some 3000 miles (4800 kilometers) each fall from Canada to Mexico (and vice-versa in the spring) without losing their way. The phenomenon of long-range bird migration is a well-known one, but not in the insect world. Also, among birds their migration route is a round-trip one, which they make more than...

2005-07-18 19:25:59

Changing environmental conditions in the Canadian Rockies are stifling the mating choices of butterflies in the region, say University of Alberta researchers. Smaller and less abundant alpine meadows--largely the result of human activities--are diminishing the alpine butterfly gene pool, creating a pattern that could lead to the butterflies being less able to survive, said Dr. Jens Roland, a biological scientist at the University of Alberta and an author of a paper on the subject that has...

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2005-02-17 13:10:00

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- The population of Monarch butterflies has suffered a drastic decline, but Mexico - where deforestation has long devastated Monarch wintering grounds - is now blaming the United States and Canada. Mexico's Environment Department said on Wednesday that 75 percent fewer Monarch butterflies have appeared in 2004 compared to previous years. It blamed cold weather and intensive farming - including genetically modified crops - in areas of the United States and Canada where the...


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
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.