vnews.com 21 Sep, 2020 03:15 am

Are brighter monarchs better flyers?

Are brighter monarchs better flyers?
The September before my daughter was born, my husband and I went for our last pre-baby hike around Camel’s Hump. We stopped for a snack on the ridgeline, and as we sat munching granola bars we were surprised to see a monarch butterfly flap past,...

Many of our pollinators and native plants cannot live without each other, such as the monarch butterfly and the milkweed plant.(Courtesy of Sullivan County Conservation District) FILE - In this Monday, July 29, 2019 file photo a monarch butterfly rests on a plant at Abbott's Mill Nature Center in Milford, Del.We stopped for a snack on the ridgeline, and as we sat munching granola bars we were surprised to see a monarch butterfly flap past, battling the turbulence at this higher elevation.Davis wondered if color variation could reveal anything about individual butterflies.

To quantify wing color variation, Davis chills the butterflies he’s collected to make them docile and puts them upside down on a flatbed scanner.As for the seasonal patterns in color variation, there might be a physiological switch triggered in the fall to ensure that the migratory generation of butterflies has the physical reserves to make their long flight.

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