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Latest Butterfly Stories

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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...

60d111249ea8075269aa748f511875bd
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,...

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2011-03-29 14:42:33

A team of scientists has discovered that descendants of "exploratory" butterflies that colonized new habitats differ genetically from their more cautious cousins. The team, led by James Marden, a professor of biology at Penn State University, and Christopher Wheat, a post-doctoral scholar working at both Penn State and the University of Helsinki, has revealed some of the genetic bases for faster egg maturation, a higher rate of energy metabolism, and superior flight ability -- traits that...

2011-03-11 00:00:28

The Orb Factory Limited Announces it's Very First iPad App (PRWEB) March 10, 2011 The Orb Factory Limited is a trusted name in children's crafts all around the world - and now they're going digital! Sticky Mosaicsâ“ž¢ Butterflies iPad app uses the same fun and educational concepts used in many of The Orb Factory's award-winning toys. Sticky Mosaicsâ“ž¢ Butterflies contains a set of four beautiful templates that your child can...

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2011-03-01 09:10:59

Observing a split in the butterfly family tree Larry Gilbert got hooked on observing butterflies when he was a just a kid. "I found a chrysalis of a black swallowtail in a lot near our house. I raised it in a Coke bottle in the window, and have been interested in butterflies ever since," says Gilbert, a professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas. In a rooftop greenhouse on the Austin campus, where he has worked since 1971, and as director of the 82-acre Brackenridge Field Lab...

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2011-02-15 05:25:00

Experts report a partial recovery in the annual winter migration of Monarch butterflies to Mexico, following a devastating 75 percent fall last year. The conservation group World Wildlife Fund Mexico says the butterflies from the U.S. and Canada are covering an area of forests that is double that of last year, when their numbers dropped to a historic low. "Fluctuations in insect populations are normal in nature," the study's sponsors said in a statement, quoted by the Associated Press....

2011-01-25 12:22:38

Scientists studied the defences used by caterpillars that transform into large white butterflies, called Pieris brassicae. The insects regurgitate semi-digested cabbage leaves to make them smell and taste unpleasant to predators. The team found, however, that frequent use of this defence reduces the caterpillars' growth rate and the number of eggs they produce. It remains unclear why their defences affect them in this way, but the loss of nutrition from frequent regurgitation is thought to...

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2011-01-07 06:00:00

A new study published Thursday in the journal Science has found that female butterflies that grow up in colder temperatures become more aggressive as adults, actively chasing males for sex and food. "Behavior in these butterflies is changed by the temperatures experienced during development," said study co-author Kathleen Prudic of Yale University, who studied female Squinting Bush Brown Butterflies (Bicyclus anynana). Researchers were curious as to why some females had ornate wing markings...


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
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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