Purple emperor butterfly video

This is a 14 June 2018 purple emperor butterfly video.

Joke Stomps made this video in Gelderland province in the Netherlands.


Painted ladies, farthest migrating butterflies

This 2017 video says about itself:

The Great Butterfly Adventure – (BBC Nature Documentary)

The migration of the painted lady has long fascinated scientists, artists and nature lovers alike. The longest butterfly migration on earth, it sees millions of these delicate creatures travel from the desert fringes of north Africa, across thousands of miles of land and sea, before settling in the UK. However, the migration has never truly been understood, the mysteries of the painted lady never unravelled – until now.

From the British Ecological Society:

Painted lady’s roundtrip migratory flight is the longest recorded in butterflies

June 13, 2018

Summary: Researchers found that painted lady butterflies return from the Afrotropical region to recolonize the Mediterranean in early spring, traveling an annual distance of 12,000 km across the Sahara Desert.

Previously known to migrate from Europe to the Afrotropics during the autumn, the fate of this butterfly species and its offspring remained unknown.

Researchers were now able to demonstrate that painted lady butterflies return from the Afrotropical region to recolonise the Mediterranean in early spring, travelling an annual distance of 12,000 km across the Sahara Desert.

While the Palearctic-African migratory circuit is typically associated with birds, scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE), a joint research centre of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), in Barcelona, Spain, found that a butterfly species endures annual trans-Saharan circuits like some birds do: the Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). Their results were published today in the journal Biology Letters.

This butterfly species travels 12,000 km and crosses the Sahara Desert twice to seasonally exploit resources and favourable climates on both sides of the desert. Few species are known to perform annual long-range trans-Saharan circuits, and that of the painted lady is the longest migratory flight known in butterflies to date.

In a previously published study, the researchers demonstrated that painted lady butterflies migrate from Europe to tropical Africa by the end of summer, crossing the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert.

The fate of these migrants and that of their offspring remained unknown. “Our hypothesis was that the species initiates a reverse northward migration towards Europe in spring, thus completing a regular migratory cycle”, states Roger Vila, one of the authors.

The answer is in the wings

With the aim of confirming this hypothesis, they studied the natal origin of the butterflies that reached the Mediterranean region in early spring. To do so, they analysed the stable hydrogen isotopes of the butterflies sampled in Morocco, Andalusia and Catalonia in Spain, Crete, Egypt and Israel.

An isotope is a form of a chemical element whose atomic nucleus contains a different number of neutrons compared to protons in the nucleus. In water, the proportion of hydrogen and its stable isotope depends on the geographical location. When absorbing water, this proportion is maintained in plants; it later remains in the caterpillars that feed on these plants, and, eventually, in adult butterflies.

By analysing the hydrogen stable isotopes found in the wings of adult butterflies, the researchers could determine where they had developed as caterpillars.

“It is difficult to study the movement of insects by means of observations, marking or radio tracking, since there are millions of individuals and they are very small. This is why finding out where a butterfly grew up before undergoing the metamorphosis by means of stable isotope analysis turns out to be extremely useful. It feels like magic”, says Gerard Talavera, who led the research.

The results show a major proportion of specimens stay in the Afrotropics during winter and that those recolonising the Mediterranean are most probably their offspring. This scenario closes the loop for the Palearctic-African migratory system of Vanessa cardui and shows that the annual distance travelled by the successive generations may reach about 12,000 km, including crossing of the Sahara Desert twice.

Whether the Painted Lady does regular migratory circuits similar to those of the monarch butterfly in North America was a matter of scientific debate. This research reveals the parallelisms in such a unique evolutionary adaptation.

Clément Bataille, professor at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Ottawa and expert in geochemistry, is co-author of this research.

See also here.

Butterfly at Texas hummingbird feeder

This video from the USA says about itself:

Butterfly Visits Hummingbird Feeder In West Texas – May 31, 2018

Hummingbirds aren’t the only nectar-loving creatures to visit the feeder in West Texas. Watch this butterfly make multiple visits to the feeder port right in the center of the camera in this highlight.

Watch live at http://allaboutbirds.org/texashummers for more information about hummingbirds and highlights from the feeders.

It is a pipevine swallowtail butterfly.

124 new species discovered in Bolivian national park?

This 2016 video is called Madidi National Park, Amazone, Bolivia.

From the Wildlife Conservation Society:

Two-and-a-half-year expedition ends in world’s most biodiverse protected area

Identidad Madidi finds 124 taxa that are candidates for new species to science

May 22, 2018

After a two-and-a-half-year expedition through the world’s most biodiverse protected area, the Identidad Madidi explorers have concluded their epic quest of completing a massive biological survey of Madidi National Park, uncovering more than 120 potentially new species of plants, butterflies and vertebrates in the process, according to WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society).

The long journey ended on November 26, 2017 at the glacial base of the Chaupi Orco Andean peak, 6,044 meters above sea level and more than 5,850 meters above the Amazonian lowlands. Along with the objective of using the altitudinal transect to confirm Madidi National Park’s status as the world’s most biologically diverse terrestrial protected area, Identidad Madidi accomplished another goal by forging a meaningful connection between the people of Bolivia and its natural heritage through an educational campaign, as well as traditional and social media.

“We have accomplished everything we hoped for and more on this journey of science and discovery”, said Dr. Robert Wallace, WCS’s Director of the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape and leader of the Identidad Madidi expedition. “The massive amounts of images and data collected on the expedition will provide us with the baseline information needed to protect this natural wonder for future generations of Bolivians and the world.”

Over the past 30 months, the Bolivian scientific team for Identidad Madidi traveled to all of Madidi’s ecosystems, including: the mid-montane grasslands and gallery forest at Machariapo; the dry montane forests at Sipia; the mountainous puna at Laguna Celeste; the treeline elfin forests at Tigremachay; the Amazonian forest at Alto Madidi; the Andean foothill or piedmont forests at Rio Hondo; the humid montane or cloud forests at different elevations at Mamacona, Cargadero, Isañoj, Sarayoj and Chullo, and others.

Prior to the launch, WCS scientists spent considerable effort systematizing all existing vertebrate and butterfly records within the limits of the Madidi protected area. A similar effort was initiated by the National Herbarium, the Missouri Botanical Garden and WCS to compile a comprehensive list of confirmed plant species.

These baselines allow Identidad Madidi researchers to measure the impact of the fieldwork across the 15 study sites. In addition to species known to exist in the landscape, the team added 1,382 species and subspecies to the Madidi landscape lists, including 100 mammals, 41 birds, 27 reptiles, 25 amphibians, 138 fish, 611 butterflies (species and subspecies) and 440 plants. Over 200 of these new records were also new for Bolivia, and incredibly a whopping 124 of the new records are candidate new species for science, including 84 plants, 5 butterflies, 19 fish, 8 amphibians, 4 reptiles and 4 mammals, as well as 8 candidate new butterfly subspecies for science. The scientific team are now busy developing the scientific manuscripts to describe these candidate new species.

The Identidad Madidi effort has pushed Madidi ahead of its nearest competitors for the title of the world’s most biologically diverse protected area with 265 mammals, 1,028 birds, 105 reptiles, 109 amphibians, at least 314 fish, 5,515 plants and 1,544 butterfly species and subspecies confirmed so far within the park. Scientists assert that these numbers confirm Madidi as the protected area with the most recorded plant, butterfly, bird and mammal species in the world and, for the moment, the second most amphibian and reptile species.

In addition to exploring the Madidi landscape, the scientists are sharing their discoveries with Bolivians to raise awareness and build pride in Bolivia’s natural heritage. In coordination with the Ministry of Education, they visited almost half of schools in La Paz and El Alto, as well as most of the schools near the Madidi protected area, to educate students on biodiversity, protected areas and indigenous territories.

Identidad Madidi has generated more than 300 press publications in Bolivia and beyond, and has generated a faithful social media audience through an innovative campaign to share images and biodiversity science with 90,000 followers on social media, especially Facebook, where more than 400 posts have reached the entire Bolivian Facebook audience (more than 2 million people).

“The comments from both social media followers and schoolchildren suggest Bolivia is falling in love with Madidi”, said Lilian Painter, WCS´s Bolivia Country Program Director. “Instilling a love of biodiversity in the leaders of tomorrow is perhaps one of the most important legacies of Identidad Madidi.”

In recognition of these efforts over the last two years, Identidad Madidi has received three prizes from the Bolivian government, in 2015 a special recognition from the Bolivian Protected Area Service (SERNAP), in 2017 a Science and Technology Prize from the Ministry of Education, as well as the Galardon Chuquiago Marka from the Parliamentary Brigade of La Paz. Identidad Madidi will continue the communication efforts through 2018 and is currently seeking support to continue field efforts to reveal yet more of Madidi´s incredible secrets.

Large tortoiseshell butterflies back in the Netherlands

This video from France says about itself:

The Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros)

7 November 2014

The Large Tortoiseshell flies from June to July in one generation, rests during summer, rarely appears in September or October. The butterfly hibernates hidden away from the cold in woodpiles, sometimes several individuals together. For several successive years 2 to 4 butterflies have been found in the same shelter in the woodpile shown in the film.

This is one of the first butterflies flying on sunny days in February or March. In 2007 and 2008 it was abundant in the Var, since it is more rare.

The sexes are similar. The males patrol their large territory. In the spring 2013, a court-flight has been observed; the male flew in a slow and graceful way around the female. They disappeared together in a swift flight out of sight. The female chooses different trees for egg laying: Elm, Willow, Poplar, the Hackberry and various fruit trees. The caterpillars live in communities on the foliage of the host plant.

Translated from Nature Today in the Netherlands:

10 MAY 2018 – Large tortoiseshell butterflies had disappeared from our country, but they seem to come back. This spring, large tortoiseshell butterflies have been seen at more than thirty locations. They probably have overwintered there. The wait is until successful reproduction is established, for example because caterpillars are found.

Green-veined white butterflies mating

This late April 2018 video shows two green-veined white butterflies mating.

Ria Pereboom made this video in Heerjansdam in the Netherlands.

Rapid evolution fails to save butterflies from extinction in face of human-induced change: here.