Partridge and butterflies near Rotterdam city


This 2014 video is about nature reserve Koedood, close to Rotterdam city in the Netherlands. It shows partridges and insects, like butterflies.

On 23 August 2015, it was reported that rare wall brown butterflies have been found there.

Are butterflies dangerous, see photo?


Red admiral

This photo by Stephen Bassett shows a red admiral butterfly on a sign in Axe Valley Wildlife Park in Devon in England, on 21 August 2015.

Rare pea blue butterflies in the Netherlands


This is a pea blue butterfly video from Spain.

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday pea blue butterflies were seen in our country. Also earlier this year, there were four reports of this butterfly species. With the weather improvement which seems to come it is good to pay extra attention to these occasional wanderers from central France.

Japanese butterflies sick from Fukushima radiation


This 2014 video is called Mating dance of butterfly Zizeeria maha okinawana. This is is Okinawa, in the south of Japan, far from the Fukushima pollution.

From Nature journal:

Body size distributions of the pale grass blue butterfly in Japan: Size rules and the status of the Fukushima population

Wataru Taira, Mayo Iwasaki & Joji M. Otaki

Published online: 22 July 2015

Abstract

The body size of the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha, has been used as an environmental indicator of radioactive pollution caused by the Fukushima nuclear accident. However, geographical and temporal size distributions in Japan and temperature effects on size have not been established in this species. Here, we examined the geographical, temporal, and temperature-dependent changes of the forewing size of Z. maha argia in Japan. Butterflies collected in 2012 and 2013 from multiple prefectures throughout Japan demonstrated an inverse relationship of latitude and forewing size, which is the reverse of Bergmann’s cline.

The Fukushima population was significantly larger than the Aomori and Miyagi populations and exhibited no difference from most of the other prefectural populations. When monitored at a single geographic locality every other month, forewing sizes were the largest in April and the smallest in August. Rearing larvae at a constant temperature demonstrated that forewing size followed the temperature-size rule. Therefore, the converse Bergmann’s rule and the temperature-size rule coexist in this multivoltine species. Our study establishes this species as a useful environmental indicator and supports the idea that the size reduction observed only in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011 was caused by the environmental stress of radioactive pollution.

Livestock offspring contaminated by Fukushima radiation: here.

Monarch butterflies in Austin, USA


This video says about itself:

1 August 2014

Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. Late instar caterpillar feeding to pupation to eclosing from a chrysalis as a Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus). Time-lapse video. FYV FrontYardVideo 1080 HD. Music “Smile Quiet Looking Up” by Puddle of Infinity.

From the Wildlife Promise blog in the USA:

Austin, Texas Creates Habitat for the Declining Monarch Butterfly

8/3/2015 // By Patrick Fitzgerald

The City of Austin, Texas sits at a critical migration point for the monarch butterfly. In the spring, Austin is one of the first places in the U.S. that the monarch stops to lay its eggs on milkweed, so the next generation can continue the journey north. During the fall migration, monarchs stop to feed on nectar plants because they need to fatten up on their way to Mexico where they will overwinter.

Fortunately the City of Austin is already a haven for wildlife – NWF named Austin the most wildlife-friendly city in America earlier this year. So it’s no surprise that Austin is among the first cities taking significant action to help the declining monarch butterfly.

In May of 2015, the City of Austin passed a city council resolution designed to incorporate more native milkweed into the city’s landscape:

“The City Manager is directed to collaborate with the local offices of the National Wildlife Federation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and initiate a process for incorporating the cultivation of native milkweed where feasible into the city’s landscape portfolio at Austin City Hall, city-owned buildings and properties, as well as the city’s vast preserve lands, parks, and open spaces.” – The City of Austin

This is a big win for the monarch butterfly and all the citizens of Austin who love this iconic and declining species. Austin manages nearly 20,000 acres of land through the Austin Parks and Recreation Department and another 7,000 through the Austin Water Utility Wildlife Conservation Division. While no one would imagine that all of these lands will be managed with the monarch as its primary or only constituent, this resolution represents a significant step to plant more milkweed on city land.

How butterflies avoid inbreeding


This video says about itself:

2 October 2010

Bicyclus anynana male and female butterflies performing courtship behavior.

From Ethology:

Kin Recognition and Inbreeding Avoidance in a Butterfly

Abstract

Owing to the risk of inbreeding depression, the evolution of inbreeding avoidance by means of kin recognition is expected for many biological systems. Nevertheless, an ability to distinguish among relatives and non-relatives has been only rarely demonstrated, especially so in non-social organisms.

We here show that, in the non-social tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana, females discriminate against relatives by preferentially mating with non-relatives. Inbreeding avoidance was more pronounced in inbred as compared with outbred butterflies, suggesting that it is partly condition dependent. We argue that, in our system, the evolution of inbreeding avoidance is related to carrying a high genetic load and thus to being particularly sensitive to inbreeding depression.

Unusual butterfly behaviour in England


From the Sussex Wildlife Trust in England, about this video:

Frisky Fritillary

05 August 2015

This silver-washed fritillary and meadow brown were filmed in Hoe Wood at Woods Mill nature reserve by Reserve Manager, Steve Tillman. You can see the strange behavior of the silver-washed fritillary as it takes a persistent interest in the meadow brown. The fritillary followed the meadow brown around the woodland. This carried on for at least five minutes.

We asked our butterfly expert, Michael Blencowe, what he thought about the behaviour. Michael said “I think that it is likely that the silver-washed fritillary is trying to mate with the meadow brown. It is possible that something about the meadow brown – the orange on the wings perhaps – is acting as a trigger to the silver washed fritillary. Inter-species copulation is rare -but by no means unknown. I’ve seen this behaviour before between meadow browns and ringlets and even small tortoiseshells and meadow browns. However this pairing is new to me.”