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Latest Butterfly Stories

Wing Bling: Flashier Is Better For Female Butterflies
2012-06-11 14:21:23

If female butterflies are programmed to identify males of their species by the patterns of spots on their wings, how can new wing patterns evolve in males? The answer is that while females are predisposed to prefer a specific pattern, they learn to like flashier ones more, according to a new Yale University study. The study published online the week of June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gives a partial explanation of an evolutionary mystery. Biologists...

Butterflies And Bats Aid In Research About Infectious Diseases
2012-06-11 12:08:09

[ Watch the Video ] Human activity, habitat disruption may affect migration patterns and spread of infectious diseases There's a most unusual gym in ecologist Sonia Altizer's lab at the University of Georgia in Athens. The athletes are monarch butterflies, and their workouts are carefully monitored to determine how parasites impact their flight performance. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Altizer and her team study how animal behavior, including long distance...

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2012-06-02 11:47:09

During the fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies living in eastern North America fly up to 1,500 miles to the volcanic forests of Mexico to spend the winter, while monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains fly to the California coast. The phenomenon is both spectacular and mysterious: How do the insects learn these particular routes and why do they stick to them? A prevailing theory contends that eastern and western monarchs are genetically distinct, and that genetic...

2012-05-25 10:04:04

A new study led by scientists in the Department of Biology at the University of York has shown how a butterfly has changed its diet, and consequently has sped northwards in response to climate change. Their study is published in the latest issue of Science. The researchers found that warmer summers have allowed the Brown Argus butterfly to complete its life cycle by eating wild Geranium plants. Because the Geraniums are widespread in the British countryside, this change in diet has...

Researchers Find That Some Butterflies Share DNA
2012-05-17 10:44:55

Brett Smith for RedOrbit.com Geneticists have made a startling breakthrough while sequencing the genome of a South American butterfly, according to a study published in the May 16 edition of Nature. More than 70 scientists from 9 different institutions were involved in the Heliconius Genome Consortium, which sequenced the entire genome of the Postman butterfly (Heliconius melpomene). They found that the insect and two other related species, Heliconius timareta and Heliconius elevatus,...

2012-04-30 19:50:19

University of Florida lepidopterist Andrei Sourakov has spent his life´s work studying moths and butterflies. But it was his teenage daughter, Alexandra, who led research on how color impacts butterflies´ feeding patterns. The research shows different species exhibit unique foraging behaviors, and the study may be used to build more effective, species-specific synthetic lures for understanding pollinators, insects on which humans depend for sustaining many crops. In a study...

2012-03-29 11:18:24

New guidelines on how to save some of Europe´s most threatened butterfly species have been published by a team of scientists co-ordinated by Butterfly Conservation Europe. The report covers 29 threatened species listed on the EU Habitats Directive. Each Member State has a responsibility to conserve these species. The new report will provide crucial information on how to achieve this goal and meet their international biodiversity targets. The report entitled “Dos and don´ts...

2012-03-28 17:30:34

The report entitled "Dos and don'ts for butterflies of the Habitats Directive of the European Union" was published in the form of an "Applied Conservation" paper in the newly launched open-access journal Nature Conservation (press release on the journal launch). It includes detailed accounts of each species, their habitat requirements and food-plants, as well as a list of dos and don'ts in the management of their habitats. European butterflies are under huge threat and almost 10% are now...


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
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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