Butterflies re-emerging in Dutch spring


This video is called Astonishing European Butterflies and Moths.

Translated from the Dutch butterfly foundation today:

Most of the butterflies that in recent weeks have been reported to Waarneming.nl and Telmee had wintered as butterflies and have emerged on the first sunny spring days. The brimstone is the most reported species (2000), followed by small tortoiseshell (1700), peacock butterfly (330), red admiral (290) and comma (180).

And now, species which had wintered while in the pupa stage have started emerging as well.

Australian stick insect, Mexican butterfly in botanical garden


Giant prickly stick insect, 22 March 2015

22 March 2015. To the botanical garden. On a smallish Eucalyptus tree in a pot in a hothouse, this adult giant prickly stick insect from Australia.

Before we had arrived at the garden, a song thrush sang from the top of a tree near a parking lot.

In the botanical garden, ring-necked parakeets flying and calling.

In the Victoria amazonica hothouse, we saw this gold-edged owl-butterfly. It was an old individual, with damaged wings.

Caligo uranus, 22 March 2015

First, we saw the upper side of its wings.

Caligo uranus, lower side, 22 March 2015

Then, the lower side.

Outside, bees had discovered the spring flowers.

Bumblebee on crocus, video


This video shows a bumblebee on crocus flowers, early this spring.

15-year-old Jessica den Bol from the Netherlands made the video.

Bees, birds and yellow flowers


This video is called Louie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of pollination.

From Plant Biology:

Bees, birds and yellow flowers: Pollinator-dependent convergent evolution of UV-patterns

Abstract

Colour is one of the most obvious advertisements of flowers and occurs in a huge diversity among the angiosperms. Flower colour is responsible for the attraction from a distance, whereas contrasting colour patterns within flowers aid orientation of flower-visitors after approaching the flowers. Due to the striking differences in colour vision systems and neural processing across animal taxa, flower colours evoke specific behavioural responses by different flower-visitors. We tested whether and how yellow flowers differ in their spectral reflectance depending on the main pollinator. We focused on bees and birds and examined whether the presence or absence of the widespread UV-reflectance pattern of yellow flowers predicts the main pollinator.

Most bee-pollinated flowers displayed a pattern with UV-absorbing centres and UV-reflecting peripheries, whereas the majority of bird-pollinated flowers are entirely UV-absorbing. In choice experiments we found that bees did not show consistent preferences for any colour- or pattern-types. However, all tested bee species made their first antennal contact preferably at the UV-absorbing area of the artificial flower irrespective of its spatial position within the flower. The appearance of UV-patterns within flowers is the main difference in spectral reflectance between yellow bee- and bird-pollinated flowers, and affects the foraging behaviour of flower-visitors. The results support the hypothesis that flower colours and the visual capabilities of their efficient pollinators are adapted to each other.

Butterflies flying again


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 butterfly foundation:

Monday, March 9th, 2015

It was a beautiful sunny weekend and that was evident from the butterflies flocking, having left their wintering areas. Many people on Saturday and especially on Sunday saw their first butterfly of 2015. The brimstone was absolutely the most frequent species, but most special were the six scarce tortoiseshells.

Nearly 1500 brimstone butterflies were seen on 7-8 March.

Scarce tortoiseshells are an east European and Asian species. Last year, they were seen in the Netherlands for the first time. It turns out now that some have survived the winter.