Vanessa movements and Peck's skipper

Paul Cherubini monarch at
Sun Jun 3 17:46:25 EDT 2001

Woody Woods wrote:

> Elsewhere, Dingle says "The most distinctive characteristics of migratory
> behavior are the UNDISTRACTABILITY (caps mine) of the individual displaying it
> (if an animal) and the special physiological mechanisms in both animals and
> plants assuring that it takes place." In other words, the bypassing of
> opportunities to feed or to mate is a defining element in Dingle's and others'
> view.

This is what I observed along the roads of northeastern Kansas on May 18 this
year. There was a very strong northward movement of Red Admirals on a day
when there was a moderate head wind out of the northeast.  The Red Admirals
were flying non-stop despite opportunities to feed on the rich red clover flower
nectar that grew along some roadsides.

Below are pictures of these roadside patches of red clover which were covered with
Vanessa butterflies; mainly American Painted Ladies, some Painted Ladies
and just one or two Red Admirals, plus several monarchs, sulfurs and a few
fritillaries and anglewings.

It in interesting that the boom in Vanessa butterfly populations this spring
spans the entire width of the USA and perhaps southern Canada.

Paul Cherubini, Placerville, Calif.


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