Rare butterfly invasion in the Netherlands

This 15 July 2014 Dutch entomology video is about the recent invasion in the Netherlands of scarce tortoiseshell butterflies; a species, new for the Netherlands.

See also here.

Butterflies and dragonflies of Rottumerplaat island

This video from Britain is called Grayling Butterflies, Hipparchia semele.

Jasper Zoeter, Martijn Bunskoek and Tim van Nus, wardens of desert island Rottumerplaat in the Netherlands, report about butterflies and dragonflies.

This summer, graylings are the most common butterflies: hundreds were seen.

Other Rottumerplaat butterflies this year: meadow brown; small copper; small heath; comma; Essex skipper; common blue.

About dragonflies, they write:

Not only for birds the water tank below the tower is useful. For dragonflies it is interesting, because between 1 and 11 July here almost daily ruddy darters metamorphosed from larva to adult. Based on the number of counted and collected larva skins at least 48 individuals emerged from the shallow water. Special, they all came from such a small pond! Reproduction of dragonflies on Rottumerplaat is known from only a few species. On 5 and 6 July, a strong southerly winds brought large numbers of dragonflies to the island. This were mainly various types of darters, including the nationally rare yellow-winged darter, of which one female was observed. We have also seen an emperor dragonfly a few times.

New butterfly species discovery in the Netherlands

This video says about itself:

Scarce Tortoiseshell Feeds on Oak Sap ヒオドシチョウがミズナラ樹液を吸汁

9 February 2014

A Scarce Tortoiseshell (aka Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell; Nymphalis xanthomelas japonica, family Nymphalidae) feeding on the fermenting sap of an oak tree (Quercus crispula, family Fagaceae). October 2013 in Japan.

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

July 14, 2014

Invasion of a new butterfly species in the Netherlands: scarce tortoiseshell seen

This week a butterfly species entered our country which had never been seen before in the Netherlands: the scarce tortoiseshell. This involves dozens of individuals. This species was initially unnoticed because it is very similar to another one: the large tortoiseshell. An expert from the Butterfly Foundation discovered that many sightings of large tortoiseshells reported since late last week were incorrect. It was in all cases the scarce tortoiseshell.

Usually, this species, new for the Netherlands, lives much further to the east.

Monarch butterfly migration, new research

This video from the USA says about itself:

Pacific monarchs migrate 2,500 miles between California and Mexico. This 10 minute segment captures some of the thousands of butterflies along the journey.

From Wildlife Extra:

Inbuilt compasses help monarch butterflies migrate

How new generations of monarch butterflies, despite never have travelled the distance before, find their way from their breeding sites in eastern United States to their overwintering habitat in central Mexico has long puzzled scientists.

Previous studies have revealed that the butterflies use a time-compensated sun compass in their antenna to help them make their 2,000 mile migratory journey to overwintering sites.

However how they found their way under dense cloud cover remained a mystery.

US scientists, using flight simulators equipped with artificial magnetic fields, found that if they changed the fields the monarchs oriented in the opposite direction, to the north instead of the south.

“Our study shows that monarchs use a sophisticated magnetic inclination compass system for navigation similar to that used by much larger-brained migratory vertebrates such as birds and sea turtles, ” said co-author Robert Gegear, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

“For migratory monarchs, the inclination compass may serve as an important back up system when daylight cues are unavailable.

“It may also augment hand-in-hand with the time-compensated sun compass to provide orientation and directionality throughout the migration process.”

To work, the compass is light dependant, relying on a certain wavelength of ultra-violet ray that can penetrate dense cloud.

However this study also opens up the possibility that the monarch survival could be vulnerable to potential disruption of the magnetic field.

“Greater knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the autumn migration may well aid in its preservation, currently threatened by climate change and by the continuing loss of milkweed and overwintering habitats,” said senior study author Steven Reppert of UMass Medical School.

“A new vulnerability to now consider is the potential disruption of the magnetic compass in the monarchs by human-induced electromagnetic noise, which can also affect geomagnetic orientation in migratory birds.”

Rare butterflies in the Netherlands

This video shows a white admiral butterfly.

Translated from Natuurmonumenten conservation organisation in the Netherlands:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Natuurmonumenten foresters had a special observation at Boerskotten nature reserve in Overijssel: the white admiral. The Twente region is one of few places in the Netherlands where this rare butterfly still lives.

News about another rare butterfly species; translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Earlier than usually [because of mild weather this spring], as well as many other butterflies, the rare white-letter hairstreak has been seen regularly. The species, of which the only known place so far was in Heerlen, apparently lives in more places. There are populations in Winterswijk and Maastricht. This year new flying sites may be discovered.

This is a white-letter hairstreak video from England.

Moths, butterflies and birds

Moth on flower-pot, 8 June 2014

On 8 June 2014, in Losdorp, we saw this moth on a flower pot on the cemetery.

Before we had arrived there, at 13:56, a white stork from the train in Staphorst.

Later, in Drenthe province, more white storks, standing or flying.

In the Losdorp garden, at least three red admiral butterflies.

Barn swallows fly past.

Blackbird, pheasant, chiffchaff and chaffinch sounds.

As we walk to the cemetery, a small heath butterfly. Too volatile for a photograph.

Then, the cemetery with the moth.

Not far from the cemetery, a hare on a field.

Two Bombus pascuorum bumblebees.

Small tortoiseshell, Losdorp, 8 June 2014

Very many small tortoiseshell butterflies.

A red-tailed bumblebee.

Edible frog sound.

White clover flower with bee, 8 June 2014

Bees on white clover flowers.

Rare butterflies on Schiermonnikoog island

This is a video about a grizzled skipper butterfly quarreling with a bumblebee about a flower in the Netherlands.

Grizzled skippers are rare in the Netherlands. Schiermonnikoog island is one of few places where they live. This spring, 90 grizzled skippers were seen there.

Also, seven brown argus butterflies were seen in the island’s Noorderduinen. This species had been absent from Schiermonnikoog for years.

This is a brown argus video from Britain.

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Butterfly lands on camera

This video is about a large skipper butterfly which had landed on the remote control of a camera.

Christ Grootzwagers from the Netherlands made this video.

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Tropical butterflies in botanical garden hothouse

This video says about itself:

Winter, frost and sun in the the Leiden Botanical Garden

Music: Bach Lute BWV995.

From the blog of the tropical hothouse in the botanical garden of Leiden, the Netherlands:

Butterflies in the Victoria Glasshouse

27 May 2014

Where are the butterflies?

There are a few, but not very many. We would like to show you some butterflies, but we are a botanical garden so the plants are our main focus.

Which butterflies can you see here?

Butterflies from Central and South America feel especially at home in this glasshouse, as do the plants on which their caterpillars feed. A maximum of five species can be seen here:

Morpho peleides and Caligo
Dryas julia
Greta oto (glasswinged butterfly)
Heliconius (longwing butterfly)

Caterpillar food plants

The caterpillars of the Morpho peleides (emperor butterfly) feed on leaves of various plants in the legume, or pea, family. A relative of the morpho, the Caligo memnon (owl butterfly), can be seen here too. The caterpillars of this species feed on banana leaves.

The Heliconius (longwing butterfly) and Dryas julia (orange longwing butterfly) lay their eggs almost exclusively on passiflora plants. These plants are poisonous but this doesn’t affect the caterpillars. In fact, they become poisonous themselves.

The Greta oto (glasswing butterfly) does not like very high temperatures and thrives best during the winter and spring. This inconspicuous caterpillar feeds on the highly poisonous Cestrum nocturnum. Just like the longwing butterflies, the caterpillars are not harmed by this poison but become poisonous themselves.

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Bees, butterflies in garden, video

This is a video about bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies and other insects in a garden in the Netherlands.

George van Pelt made the video.