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Posts Tagged "butterflies"

The Artful Amoeba

You Know You Want To Help (6-Legged) Monarchs. Here’s How.

monarch_caterpillar_milkweed_Marshal_Hedin_flickr_permission_200

Last year, a hard year by monarch butterfly migration standards, 60 million monarchs showed up at their misty wintering grounds in Mexico. This year, so far, a mere 3 million have straggled in — and late, too, according to a disturbing must-read piece (“The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear”) published last Friday in the New [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Links from the Brink (March 30, 2013)

slender loris

Ivory smugglers, manatees, Iranian cheetahs, slow lorises and Britain’s beloved hedgehogs are in the news this week. Ethics and Endangered Species: A new study accuses wildlife photographers of unethical behavior when it comes to the slender loris (either Loris tardigradus or L. lydekkerianus). The photographers reportedly convinced tribesmen (who consider the species to be taboo) [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Google Earth Inspires Rediscovery of Lost Butterfly Species

Erikssonia edgei (Female)

A South African butterfly species that lepidopterists feared had gone extinct more than a decade ago has been rediscovered after a search on Google Earth revealed a habitat much like the insect’s former home. That tip refocused a stalled search for the lost species that had not been seen since the mid-1990s. The Waterberg copper [...]

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Extinction Countdown

World’s Largest Butterfly Threatened by Shrinking Habitat and Deforestation

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing 2

Counting butterflies in the wild is not an easy task, even when you are looking for the largest butterfly in the world, the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae) of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Females of the species have an impressive and eye-catching 30-centimeter wingspan, 50 percent larger than the more colorful males. But the Queen [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Bye-bye to Britain’s butterflies?

Butterfly populations in the United Kingdom have plunged to a 25-year low, threatening many species with extinction, according to the latest annual survey by the U.K. Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, a partnership between the Center for Ecology and Hydrology, Butterfly Conservation and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Two wet summers in a row, combined with habitat [...]

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Lab Rat

Arctic creepy-crawlies part II: woolly bear caterpillars

The Woolly Bear Caterpillar. Mike Beauregard from Nunavut, Canada. Uploaded by Tillman. CC 2.0

This is the second part of my two-part mini series on Arctic creepy-crawlies. Part I: ice worms can be found here. Part II: Woolly bear caterpillar The Arctic woolly bear moth (Gynaephora groenlandica) is found in Greenland and Canada around the Arctic Circle. Unlike the ice worms the caterpillars don’t require exclusively freezing conditions to [...]

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Lab Rat

Butterfly watch: the caterpillars that exploit ants as childminders

The Large Blue in France. Photo by PJC&C from wikimedia commons, link below.o

It’s such wonderful warm weather in the UK at the moment, I thought it was time to celebrate with another butterfly post! I particularly wanted to take a closer look at the butterfly Phengaris arion which is rather unimaginatively known more commonly as the Large Blue. Unfortunately the Large Blue went extinct in the UK in [...]

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Lab Rat

Happy New Year – the blog retrospective

HNY-funky

Last year, my New Year’s Resolution was to try for a child with my husband. As I’m currently typing while trying to entertain a three month old baby I think I can safely claim that as one of the most successful New Year’s Resolutions I’ve ever made. I’ve been blogging at Scientific American for well [...]

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Lab Rat

Butterfly watch: four legs vs. six legs

A large white, Pieris brassicae, image (c) James Gould

After last years rains and the late snows of winter, this summer has been a really good one for British butterflies. As August has now come to an end, and summer technically turns into autumn, I thought it was time for another butterfly post. In particular, I wanted to write about one of the stranger [...]

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Lab Rat

Butterfly watch: multi-generational migrations

The Painted Lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui. Picture taken in Ename, Belgium Tim Bekaert (July 12, 2005).

Migrating animals are always impressive to watch. The ability to cover huge areas of land in massive groups can be a beneficial strategy for many animals; whether birds, mammals or shoals of fish. Yet even more impressive than migrations by groups of individuals are those that take place over several generations. In the case of [...]

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Observations

Monarch Butterfly Genome Gives Clues about Slew of Migration Mysteries

The millions of monarchs (Danaus plexippus) that flit on fragile wings from the U.S.to a particular area of fir forest in Mexico—as far as 4,000 kilometers—are making the journey for the first time. “They have never been to the overwintering sites before and have no relatives to follow,” Steven Reppert, a neurobiologist at the University [...]

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Symbiartic

The SciArt Buzz: ScienceArt on Exhibit in July/Aug 2013

13-026Princeton

Looking for a way to escape the summer heat? Pop into any of these galleries nationwide or abroad and get your fix of cool temps and hot sciart. EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION WINGED TAPESTRIES: Moths at Large through September 29, 2013 American Museum of Natural History Central Park West and 79th St. New York, NY Witness [...]

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