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Latest Butterfly Stories

Researchers Sequence Monarch Butterfly's Genome
2011-11-24 06:10:14

Scientists have reported for the first time ever the genomic sequence of the iconic Monarch Butterfly in the journal Cell. The Monarch butterfly is mostly famous for its migration of 2,000 miles from North America to central Mexico every fall. The new genome is the first for any butterfly, and is also the first complete genome of any long-distance migrant. "With this genome sequence in hand, we now have an overwhelming number of opportunities to understand the genetic and molecular...

Image 1 - Ancient Moths Reveal Wing Colors
2011-11-16 07:58:25

New research is allowing scientists to learn what the colors of fossilized moths would have been. Maria McNamara, a paleobiologist and postdoctoral researcher at Yale University was examining fossils from oil shale in Germany when she came across the remains of several moth species, all belonging to a group called lepidopterans, which also includes butterflies. “Until now, we had no idea what colors ancient moths and butterflies had,” McNamara relates to Stephanie Pappas of...

Image 1 - Distribution Atlas Of Butterflies In Europe
2011-10-05 09:59:48

A baseline for the conservation of a core element of biodiversity Scientists present the largest distribution data compilation ever on butterflies of an entire continent. The Germany based Society for the Conservation of Butterflies and Moths GfS ("Gesellschaft für Schmetterlingsschutz"), the German Nature Conservation Association NABU ("Naturschutzbund Deutschland") and the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) are delighted to announce the publication of the...

Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Is A Hybrid
2011-09-09 09:59:31

  Flitting among the cool slopes of the Appalachian Mountains is a tiger swallowtail butterfly species that evolved when two other species of swallowtails hybridized long ago, a rarity in the animal world, biologists from The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University have found. They discovered that the Appalachian tiger swallowtail, Papilio appalachiensis, evolved from mixing between the Eastern tiger swallowtail, P. glaucus, and the Canadian tiger swallowtail, P....

sciencepress-082511-002
2011-08-25 10:42:33

  In one of the first taxonomic revisions of Neotropical butterflies that utilizes 'DNA barcoding', Andrei Sourakov (University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History) and Evgeny Zakharov (University of Guelph, Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario) uncovered a spectacular degree of evolutionary divergence within the satyrine butterfly genus Calisto. The study was published in the open-access journal Comparative Cytogenetics. The...

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2011-08-15 07:09:20

The mystery of how a butterfly has changed its wing patterns to mimic neighboring species and avoid being eaten by birds has been solved by a team of European scientists. The study was published August 14, 2011 in the journal Nature. The greatest evolutionary thinkers, including Wallace, Bates and Darwin, have all wondered how butterflies that taste bad to birds have evolved the same patterns of warning coloration. Now for the first time, researchers led by the CNRS (Mus©um National...

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2011-07-25 06:45:00

Red may mean STOP or I LOVE YOU! A red splash on a toxic butterfly's wing screams DON'T EAT ME! In nature, one toxic butterfly species may mimic the wing pattern of another toxic species in the area. By using the same signal, they send a stronger message: DON'T EAT US! Now several research teams that include Smithsonian scientists in Panama, have discovered that Heliconius butterflies mimic each other's red wing patterns through changes in the same gene. Not only does this gene lead to the...

2011-07-22 01:39:07

Researchers find single gene controls mimicry across different species For 150 years scientists have been trying to explain convergent evolution. One of the best-known examples of this is how poisonous butterflies from different species evolve to mimic each other's color patterns "“ in effect joining forces to warn predators, "Don't eat us," while spreading the cost of this lesson. Now an international team of researchers led by Robert Reed, UC Irvine assistant professor of ecology...

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2011-06-01 13:35:00

A Japanese researcher says that one kind of female butterfly mates only once in its life, and then closes its wings to avoid "harassment" when pursued by persistent and unwanted males. Jun-Ya Ide, an associate professor at Kurume Institute of Technology in Fukuoka, western Japan said observations of the Small Copper Butterfly, a colorful orange and black butterfly, showed that some females closed their wings when males flew by, but only males of their own species. "When we looked into why,...


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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