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Lifecycle of a butterfly in real life ( 3 min)

Read more about this exciting project. Provided four local people with stable, full-time employment as forest arborists. Trained the arborists to participate in citizen science, including Monitoring the timing, location and behavior of the monarch colony over the course of the season. Monitoring the natural regeneration of the forest.

Location, location, location

Monitoring monarch nectar sources, predation patterns, as well as documenting other flora and fauna on Cerro Pelon. Larval caterpillar food: native grasses Poa sp. Read more and see the caterpillars here. Heteronympha paradelpha These strongly-marked butterflies fly erraticly. Best time to see : February — March. Females large, showy. Males smaller and easier to confuse with other browns, but the single, small eyespot in each wing is helpful.

They fly low and slow, and can be very numerous at times. Larval caterpillar food: Weeping Grass Microlaena stipoides , Poa sp. Argynnina cyrila These butterflies often seem to have a green sheen on the top of their body. They fly quickly and erraticly. Males are active in afternoon and can fly quite high. Females fly close to the ground.

Geitoneura acantha One of few butterflies that is prettier on the underside: a striking pattern of large eyespots and lines. Tisiphone abeona albifascia One the easiest butterflies to see and photograph in East Gippsland — they fly slowly and gracefully, and perch prominently with wings open.

They are quite big, and numerous throughout East Gippsland. This subspecies confined to southern Victoria and just over the border into New South Wales. Larval caterpillar food: Sword-grass Gahnia sieberiana and other gahnia sp. Medium-sized butterflies with no eyespots in wings. Most have some white or yellow in wings. Delias harpalyce A striking black, yellow and red butterfly that is quite big.

Butterfly - Wikipedia

Small to medium-sized butterflies with a long stout abdomen they tend to look like chubby, short-winged butterflies. Wings usually have drab brown or orange tones. Antennae widely separated at base. Since they're cold-blooded animals, they can't regulate their own body temperatures.

Butterfly Images

The surrounding air temperature has a big impact on their ability to function. Cooler days require a butterfly to warm up its flight muscles, either by shivering or basking in the sun. Inside the chrysalis, a developing butterfly waits to emerge with its wings collapsed around its body. When it finally breaks free of the pupal case, it greets the world with tiny, shriveled wings.

The butterfly must immediately pump body fluid through its wing veins to expand them. Once its wings reach full-size, the butterfly must rest for a few hours to allow its body to dry and harden before it can take its first flight. Once it emerges from its chrysalis as an adult, a butterfly has only short weeks to live, in most cases.

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During that time, it focuses all its energy on two tasks — eating and mating. Some of the smallest butterflies, the blues, may only survive a few days. Butterflies that overwinter as adults, like monarchs and mourning cloaks, can live as long as 9 months. Within about feet, butterfly eyesight is quite good. Anything beyond that distance gets a little blurry to a butterfly, though.


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Butterflies rely on their eyesight for vital tasks, like finding mates of the same species and finding flowers on which to feed. In addition to seeing some of the colors we can see, butterflies can see a range of ultraviolet colors invisible to the human eye. The butterflies themselves may have ultraviolet markings on their wings to help them identify one another and locate potential mates.


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Flowers, too, display ultraviolet markings that act as traffic signals to incoming pollinators like butterflies — "pollinate me! Butterflies rank pretty low on the food chain, with lots of hungry predators happy to make a meal of them.