smoke and butterflies?

Semjase semjase at
Wed Sep 22 11:01:09 EDT 1999

>Subject: Re: smoke and butterflies?
>From: gochfeld at EOHSI.RUTGERS.EDU  (Michael Gochfeld)
>Date: Tue, 21 September 1999 05:10 PM EDT
>Message-id: <37E7F20C.79872B29 at>
>We just returned from the Mato Grosso in Brazil where there was a
>prolonged and serious dry season.  Fires were raging everywhere.
>Ranchers try to maintain pasture quality by burning, to get rid of the
>inedible grasses left being by their cattle, and allow the edible
>species to grow. It's a self-defeating strategy in the long run and
>destroys lots of other habits inadvertently. 
>We were unable to land in Cuiaba (capital of Mato Grosso) because of the
>dense smoke haze which closed the airport for up to 12 hours every day).
>On the ground we found the smoke irritating at times and always
>perceptible.  On the other hand we didn't get overheated despite air
>temperatures lingering in the high 90's (ca 35-38C).  There was a lot of
>butterfly activity with some familiar species (Gulf Fritillary=Agraulis
>vanillae, Cloudless Sulfur=Phoebis sennae and a Queen=Danaus sp) among
>others.  It's hard to know what it would have been like without the
>drought and without the smoke, but there was a moderate amount of
>butterfly cactivity which seemed unaffected by the amount of smoke. 
>Mike Gochfeld
>Kenelm Philip wrote:
>>         On several occasions in Interior Alaska I have seen smoke plumes
>> from forest fires that were dense enough to block the sun. The
The problem is what does it really do to the butterflies.  We really don't know
what they experience or are we able to follow up on sequelae after exposure!


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