Monarch butterflies headed for extinction

As a kid in the '70s, watching the annual monarch butterfly migration in Californa was a thing to see! Not so much any more.

From KTLA 5 in LA:

Researchers with an environmental group have labeled as “disturbingly low” the number of western monarch butterflies that migrate along the California coast.

A recent count by the Xerces Society recorded fewer than 30,000 butterflies, which it said is an 86 percent decline since 2017.

By comparison, the group in 1981 counted more than 1 million western monarchs wintering in California, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Xerces Society conducts annual Thanksgiving and New Year’s counts and was not certain what caused the numbers to drop. It said there is no substantial evidence of a delayed migration and butterflies are not being reported in other parts of the country.

A 2017 study by Washington State University researchers found the species likely will go extinct in the next few decades if nothing is done to save it.

Scientists say the butterflies are threatened by pesticides, herbicides and destruction along their migratory route. They also have noted climate change impacts.

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Beautiful embroidered moths and butterflies

Yumi Okita creates strikingly accurate and colorful moths and butterflies from thread and felt. Read the rest

Watch researchers modify caterpillars, revealing wing development inside cocoons

Biologist Nipam Patel and his team at UC Berkeley study how butterflies develop wing shape and color by performing surgery on caterpillars, creating translucent windows in their cocoons. Read the rest

The Duncan Butterfly, world's greatest yo-yo

My daughter wanted a yo-yo, and I knew that only one would do! The Duncan Butterfly!

I spent hundreds of hours playing with one just like this! We randomly got the same green I had as a kid. Just holding the yo-yo in my hand, and feeling the wings in my palm, brought back amazing memories. I immediately pulled off "Walk the Dog," but then hit myself in the back of the head with "Around the World."

Maybe she needs one of her own. I'm not sure I can share!

The Duncan Butterfly via Amazon Read the rest

Exotic caterpillars and the beautiful winged insects they become

Imgur user believeitornotimnothome curated this lovely collection of 19 caterpillars and the beautiful winged insects they become, like this Blue Morpho. Bonus video below: Read the rest