Endangered North American butterfly fights back against climate change


This video is called The Endangered Quino Checkerspot Butterfly.

From Wildlife Extra:

Endangered butterfly fights back against climate change

April 2014: The endangered Quino Checkerspot butterfly, found in Mexico and California, is defying climate change by adapting both its habitat and diet, a study has revealed.

The butterfly suffered dramatic population collapses during the last century along the southern edge of its range in Baja California as a result of climate change and agricultural and urban development.

But rather than heading toward extinction the butterfly has adapted to the changing climate by shifting to a higher altitude and changing its host plant to a completely new species.

Other species have been seen changing either habitat or diet to cope with a changing climate but the Quino Checkerspot may be amongst the first butterfly species to change both.

Professor Camille Parmesan from Plymouth University, explained:

“Quino today is one of the happy ‘surprises’, having managed to adapt to climate change by shifting its centre of abundance to higher elevation and onto a plant species that was not previously known to be a host.”

See also here. And here. And here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Robin singing, butterfly flying at cemetery


This video is called Brimstone Butterflies; Gonepteryx rhamni.

Now, a wildlife report.

This time, not from Costa Rica (many more will appear on this blog, but thousands of photos, some good, some not so good, still have to be sorted out. So, please be patient).

Today, I went to the cemetery not far away.

A chaffinch sings.

A wood pigeon flies into a tree.

A blackbird sings.

Two carrion crows in a tree.

Great spotted woodpecker sound.

Nuthatch sounds. One of them climbing on the lower part of a small tree.

A chiffchaff sings.

A jay on a tree.

A brimstone butterfly flying.

Great tit sound.

A robin sings from the top of a tombstone close to me.

Nine magpies together in a treetop.

As I leave, a male chaffinch on the ground.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Costa Rican butterflies and birds, 14 March


Postman butterfly, 14 March 2014

Still 14 March in Costa Rica. After the Baltimore oriole and the red-tailed squirrel, we saw this beautiful butterfly. It is a postman.

Before this butterfly, we had already seen an orchid bee.

And two red-tailed squirrels in a tree.

Many blue and white swallows.

Hoffmann's woodpecker

Then, a male Hoffmann’s woodpecker, cleaning its feathers on a tree.

A masked tityra in another tree.

Then, the postman butterfly, already mentioned. And its relative, a zebra longwing.

Rufous-collared sparrow

Then, two rufous-collared sparrows.

In a treetop, a great kiskadee and a hummingbird.

Blue and grey tanager

Blue and grey tanagers.

A buff-throated saltator.

A tropical kingbird.

Finally, a rose-breasted grosbeak.

Stay tuned, as there will be much more on Costa Rican wildlife on this blog.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dutch butterfly spring news


This video is called Astonishing European Butterflies and Moths.

The Dutch Butterfly Foundation reports that never before so many butterflies have been seen so early in March as during the mild spring weather of last weekend.

About 99% were butterflies which had wintered as adults, like small tortoiseshell and brimstone.

However, there were also already some which had wintered as pupae: large white, small white, green-veined white, holly blue and speckled wood.

Various large tortoiseshell individuals were seen as well. This butterfly species was considered to be extinct in the Netherlands. One should hope it is coming back.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Flowers, birds and butterflies at the cemetery


Crocus flowers, cemetery, 9 March 2014

This is a crocus flower photo from today, at the cemetery.

Just before the entrance, a female chaffinch and a small tortoiseshell butterfly.

Great tits. Jays. Magpies. Wood pigeons.

Long-tailed tits in bushes. Nuthatches on trees.

A robin sings on top of a tombstone. A blackbird around graves.

Great spotted woodpecker, 9 March 2014

A great spotted woodpecker on a big tree.

A brimstone butterfly flies around.

Greenfinch, 9 March 2014

A young greenfinch in a tree.

Wood squill flower, 9 March 2014

Blue wood squill flowers on a grave.

Wood squill flowers, 9 March 2014

Wood squill flowers, cemetery, 9 March 2014

Enhanced by Zemanta

Good rare butterfly news in the Netherlands


This video is about male and female brown hairstreak butterflies.

The Dutch Butterfly Foundation reports about the brown hairstreak butterfly, a rare species.

A few years ago, in Steenwijk town, a sports ground was renovated, causing destruction of brown hairstreak biotope.

Pro-butterfly activists complained about this to local authorities. As a result of this, blackthorn bushes, on which the butterflies depend, were planted all over Steenwijk. This enables brown hairstreaks to live at many spots now; making them no longer dependent on one vulnerable area.

This winter, over 1,850 brown hairstreak eggs were found in Steenwijk. A record number.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Birds, bees, butterflies earlier in mild winter weather


This video says about itself:

Up Close: Andrena Vaga Bee Digs an Impressive Hole

2 Feb 2014

Andrena is the largest genus in the family Andrenidae, and is nearly worldwide in distribution, with the notable exceptions of Oceania and South America. With over 1,300 species, it is one of the largest of all bee genera. Species are often brown to black with whitish abdominal hair bands, though other colors are possible, most commonly reddish, but also including metallic blue or green.

Body length commonly ranges between 8 – 17 mm with males smaller and more slender than females, which often show a black triangle (the “pygidial plate”) at the abdominal apex. In temperate areas, Andrena bees (both males and females) emerge from the underground cells where their prepupae spend the winter, when the temperature ranges from about 20°C to 30°C. They mate, and the females then seek sites for their nest burrows, where they construct small cells containing a ball of pollen mixed with nectar, upon which an egg is laid, before each cell is sealed. Andrena usually prefer sandy soils for a nesting substrate, near or under shrubs to be protected from heat and frost.

Andrena females can be readily distinguished from most other small bees by the possession of broad velvety areas in between the compound eyes and the antennal bases, called “facial foveae”. They also tend to have very long scopal hairs on the trochanters of the hind leg.

Some people say spring starts officially on 1 March. Some say 21 March. Astronomers say between 19 and 21 March.

Though it is still winter now according to many viewpoints, mild winter means that in the Netherlands, many birds and insects are unusually early, Vroege Vogels radio said today.

Andrea vaga bees are already flying. So are large earth bumblebee queens.

Some butterfly species fly already: peacock, red admiral, brimstone, small tortoiseshell. Not that surprising for these species, as they winter as adults, and will start flying when temperature allows.

A bit more unusual are other butterfly species which already fly now: small white and speckled wood. These species winter as pupae. Apparently, mild temperatures make for a quicker metamorphosis.

Skylarks and chaffinches sing already.

Enhanced by Zemanta

New butterfly species discoveries in Texas, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

19 Sep 2013

Meet unique Texas butterflies and ones that wing it across the country—with Marianna Trevino-Wright and Max Munoz from the National Butterfly Center in Mission. Host: Tom Spencer.

From Wildlife Extra:

Two new butterfly species discovered in eastern USA

February 2014: Two new butterfly species have been discovered in eastern USA, one in east Texas and one in south Texas by scientists who were studying the common Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius).

“It was completely unexpected’, said Dr. Grishin. ‘We were studying genetics of these butterflies and noticed something very odd. Butterflies looked indistinguishable, were flying together at the same place on the same day, but their DNA molecules were very different from each other. We thought there was some kind of mistake in our experiments.”

It soon became clear that the researchers were dealing with two species and one new to science, which were not even very closely related to each other, just very similar in wing patterns. The new species has been named Intricate Satyr (Hermeuptychia intricata).

Initially discovered in Brazos Bend State Park in East Texas, Intricate Satyr is widely distributed all over eastern USA in several states, including Florida and South Carolina.

Being curious about genetic makeup of these Satyrs the scientists decided to investigate DNA sequences and genitalia of Satyr populations from South Texas. And it immediately paid off. These populations turned out to be another new species, named “South Texas Satyr” (Hermeuptychia hermybius).

See also here. And here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Valentine’s Day for animals


This video is called Valentine’s Day Animals: Compilation.

From eNature blog in the USA:

Valentine’s Day In The Wild— There’s A Lot Going On Out There!

Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 by eNature

Some folks love it, others dread it. But no matter what your feelings about Valentine’s Day, there’s no avoiding it.

And it’s not just humans— animals in the wild are succumbing to Cupid’s arrows as well.

Take a a walk through your backyard or a backcountry hike and you’ll likely be confronted by a courtship ritual of some sort. For the animals engaged in such displays, though, the whole month of February, not just Valentine’s Day, is meant for romance.

Despite the chill that remains in much of North America, Raccoons, Minks, river otters, Gray and Red Foxes, Coyotes, and skunks all take time off from their mid-winter hunting to prowl for partners. Groundhogs start to look around longingly soon after they emerge from their long winter’s sleep, and many of their rodent kin, from California Kangaroo Rats to Black-tailed Prairie Dogs, also consider February just the right time for rubbing noses.

Birds, too, at least a few of them, hit their romantic stride during the second month of the year. Great Horned Owls start hooting it up in December but mostly wait till now to take care of their romantic business. Male Red-winged Blackbirds return to much of the continent in February and start right in displaying and singing for prospective females, while American Woodcocks stage their delightfully bizarre courtship performances in the February twilight. And in the swamps of southern Florida, ungainly looking Wood Storks make hay in the February sunshine.

Also out under bright sunny southern skies are myriad butterflies looking for love. There are large Pipevine Swallowtails and diminutive Western Pygmy-Blues in Texas, gorgeous Zebra Heliconians and Gulf Fritillaries in Florida, Spring Azures and Long-tailed Skippers in the other Gulf States, and dainty Desert Marbles and Desert Orangetips in the Southwest. Wherever and whenever you see butterflies flying, even in February, you can rest assured that half of them are males on the lookout for lepidopteran love.

As for amphibians, their amorous inspiration comes in the form of a nice February rain. And when the rain falls, the amphibians emerge from their hibernation and march straight to breeding pools. Pond frogs, treefrogs, toads, and salamanders of all kinds take to the mating trail in February in the southern parts of the United States. The male frogs are at their vociferous best in their choruses to attract mates, while male salamanders vie for partners, too, though without the audible fanfare.

Even fish feel frisky these days, especially the Rainbow Trout in the Smokies and the Largemouth Bass in Texas. The same is true for animals in saltier waters: Humpback Whales, Northern Right Whales, Gray Seals, and Northern Elephant Seals have love on their marine-mammal minds, while far to the north in the pitch-black darkness of the Arctic winter Walruses have a gleam in their eyes.

Environmentalists’ Valentines Day Wish: Stop Selling Bee-Harming Plants: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta