Monday, April 11, 2005

Billions of Butterflies Descend on California

By LiveScience Staff

posted: 08 April 2005
01:51 pm ET

Heavy winter rains have led to billions of butterflies that are beginning to descend on California in what could be a record migration.

Millions of butterflies that flew into the Central Valley in the last week of March could be just the advance guard of an unprecedented hoard.

"This may be the biggest migration of modern times," said Arthur Shapiro, a professor and expert on butterflies at the University of California, Davis.

There are now reports of billions of painted lady butterflies around Trona, near Death Valley, and in the San Fernando Valley, Shapiro said. More waves of butterflies are likely to appear in central California over the next few weeks.

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Radar reveals purpose in butterfly flights

Jim Giles

Miniature transponders show pattern among the erratic fluttering.

Tiny radar devices have revealed patterns in the meandering flights of butterflies: the looping dives are thought to help them to search for food or a home. What's more, the radar technology could help conservationists to find safe havens for the insects amid fragmented agricultural landscapes.

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