Trump attacks US National Butterfly Center


This 13 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Trump To Destroy National Butterfly Center

Will the National Butterfly Center survive Trump? John Iadarola discusses Trump destroying the National Butterfly Center on The Damage Report.

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New swallowtail butterfly species discovery in Fiji


Papilio natewa. Photo by Greg Kerr

The large swallowtail butterfly, now named Papilio natewa, was first photographed in 2017 by Australian ornithologist Greg Kerr, working with Operation Wallacea.

From the University of Oxford in England:

New species of Swallowtail butterfly discovered in Fiji

October 30, 2018

A spectacular new butterfly species has been discovered on the Pacific Island of Vanua Levu in Fiji. The species, named last week as Papilio natewa after the Natewa Peninsula where it was found, is a remarkable discovery in a location where butterfly wildlife was thought to be well known.

The large Swallowtail was first photographed in 2017 by Australian ornithologist Greg Kerr, working with Operation Wallacea, an international organisation which supports school students in science projects.

Specialists around the world were puzzled when Kerr’s photograph was sent for identification. It was not until earlier this year, during a second fieldtrip to Fiji, that it was confirmed as a species new to science by John Tennent, Honorary Associate at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and Scientific Associate of the Natural History Museum, London.

“For such an unusual and large new butterfly to be discovered somewhere we thought was so well known is remarkable”, said John Tennant, who is a Pacific butterfly specialist. The species was named by Tennant and colleagues in Fiji and Australia in a paper published this month in Entomologischer Verein Apollo.

Tennant has spent long periods in the Pacific, including the Solomon Islands and eastern Papua New Guinea and has found and named over a hundred new species and subspecies of butterflies in the last 25 years. But he describes the new Natewa Swallowtail as “easily the most spectacular.” The find is especially remarkable because there are only two Swallowtail butterfly species previously known from this part of the Pacific, and only one from Fiji.

“Because they are large, conspicuous and often beautiful in appearance, Swallowtail butterflies have been intensively studied for over 150 years”, says James Hogan, manager of butterfly (Lepidoptera) collections at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

“To find a new species like this, not only in a small and reasonably well-studied area like Fiji, but also one which looks unlike any other Swallowtail is truly exceptional. For John Tennent, Greg Kerr and the rest of the team this really is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.”

The Natewa Swallowtail has remained undiscovered for so long perhaps due to its habits and the geological history of the islands. Unusually for a Swallowtail, it seems to be a true forest species, spending most of its life inside the forest at elevations above 250 metres, on land with restrict access rights.

“It does make you wonder what else awaits discovery in the world’s wild places. The key to finding new and interesting things is simply to go and look”, adds Tennant.

Swallowtail caterpillar becomes pupa


In this 25 October 2018 time lapse video, a swallowtail caterpillar becomes a pupa.

Gerrit Stronks made this video in a greenhouse in his garden in the Netherlands.

There were 10 swallowtail caterpillars in the garden. Mr Stronks put them in the greenhouse, with carrot leaves as food. All ten have become pupas by now. If all goes well, then there will be ten swallowtail butterflies flying in the spring of 2019.

Rare butterfly in Germany, Netherlands


Mazarine blue butterflies are rare in the Netherlands and western Germany.

The “Natura 2000” network of protected areas runs across the EU as a conservation network for biodiversity. However, only a few studies have so far analysed whether these refuges actually have a positive effect on species diversity. Studies have predominately focussed on birds and have not shown any clear trends. Using long-term data from the “Butterfly Monitoring Germany” citizens’ research project, scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Halle, Germany, and the Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic, have now investigated the matter using butterflies as an example. According to the research, there are more butterfly species in Natura 2000 areas than elsewhere. However, in the journal Diversity and Distributions the researchers reported the same decline in the numbers of species regardless whether the communities are located within or outside the protected areas: here.