TAG: Butterflies

If You Like Butterflies…

If You Like Butterflies…

Then you will appreciate knowing they are being accessed for some scientific inspiration. The nature born wing technology of the butterfly has actually been studied – and replicated – for use in human designs with elements of biomimicry. In 2009, a group of researchers found that scales on the wings actually act as onboard solar collectors, productively collecting light. Imitating the scales as a model they successfully advanced the way solar cells that are sensitive to dye were able to gather and store light. The wings of the Swallowtail butterfly were examined due to interest in how their fairly flat… read more

New Citizen Science Project Brings Butterfly Enthusiasts and Scientists Together

fendersbluebutterfly

Who doesn’t love butterflies? They’re beautiful, fragile, and extremely important to our ecosystems. They’re also incredibly sensitive to changes in their habitats, from changing temperatures to increasing urban sprawl. And now, just about anyone can help scientists better understand them, by contributing to a new citizen science project. eButterfly, from Oregon State University, is an online portal for recording sightings of butterflies across the US and Canada, which will help add virtual manpower to the cadre of scientists that are gathering data on one of the Earth’s most elegant inhabitants. “What we need, and what we believe eButterfly will provide,… read more

Take the Google Earth Tour of the Monarch Migration

Monarch Butterfly

One of the most well-known and recognizable butterflies, especially in North America, is the Monarch butterfly, and they’re not only beautiful, they are also incredible travelers that migrate long distances every year. The annual mass migrations of the Monarch, from eastern North America to central Mexico and from western North America to the California coast, are not quite as well known to people as their striking orange and black wings, but are no less stunning in their own right. The Monarch is the only butterfly that migrates both north and south, as birds do, and considering their delicate nature and… read more

Benefits of Butterflies

butterfly_perched_flower

Butterflies are among the most common insects to frequent gardens. Adding an ornamental touch, a yard full of butterflies can only be good. As sensitive indicators, the very presence of butterflies may be enough to detect the health and vitality of the surrounding area. However, they are more than a by-product of healthy landscapes. Butterflies in themselves can prove essential to the overall health of plant life. Like bees and flies, butterflies are excellent pollinators, fertilizing trees, flowers, and shrubbery. The pollination of a plant is necessary for it to reproduce, contributing to the production of flowers and berries. This is an important process, required by all plants with the exception of grass, wheat, and corn. Butterflies also… read more