Thursday, April 19, 2012

Have you seen this butterfly?

No doubt you have if you've been outside during the past week or so. There’s a Red Admiral explosion / invasion presently underway across most of the country. Why? Some say climate change. The Red Admiral is a potential indicator species for phenological changes; as the climate warms adults will probably overwinter farther north than they can now. However, one entomologist and current president of Ohio Lepidopterists, Dave Horn, said:
"The red admiral has periodically appeared in large numbers since the early 19th century. While there is no universally accepted explanation for these increases it seems most likely that they are related to high overwintering survivorship in the southern USA followed by favorable conditions for northward movement. This year we have had both a very mild winter (in Ohio and southward) and an early spring and I suspect the large numbers we are seeing reflect those weather conditions."
Red Admiral © 2012 Mike McDowell


  1. Nice post, and perfect timing! In the last couple days there has been an explosion of them here in Minnesota - dozens everywhere you look.

  2. Yes, I saw one here in Rice Lake last week.