|BSB directory||BSB Education||BSB lectures||BSB Mission||Patient Earth|
Butterfliesbeautiful and fragile
A butterfly is a nectar-feeding insect with two pairs of large, typically colorful wings, not related to moths by having clubbed or dilated antennae, holding their wings erect when at rest, being day-active.
Swallowtails, Sulphurs, Harvesters, Hairstreaks, Monarchs, Fritillary, Emperors, Satyrs
Can you imagine 20000 butterfly species?
That's how many different butterflies exist on Earth.|
Butterfly wings have a very delicate construction, with overlapping microscopic scales resulting in these wonderful special colors and patterns.
About 400 butterfly species call Texas home.
Many butterflies are migratory, what means they travel long distances.
The Texas State butterfly is the Monarch; these butterflies travel over 3000 miles during migration.
Why do we see less Monarch butterflies?
Monarch - Danaus plexippus
Migration route Texas Hill Country
Something went wrong with the Spring monarch migration. Not many of us have caught sight of more than a few of the iconic insects currently on their journey through Texas.
Monarch - danaus plexippus
Butterfly garden at
Bear Springs Blossom Nature Preserve
There are some key culprits of the population collapse of this most recognizable of our butterflies.
Soggy weather and illegal logging have both indisputably reduced the Monarch butterflies at their Mexican over-wintering grounds.
Monarch - danaus plexippus
as butterfly + caterpillar
Not many know that the on-going loss of habitat in the United States, as well as our widespread use of toxic herbicides, pesticides, and use of genetically modified corn, threatens many butterfly species.
Butterflies need milkweed as breeding ground, but humans destroy it. The use of Roundup Ready crops, herbicide-ready crops is contra-productive.
This year, monarchs migration conditions are very hard. The exceptional drought in Texas and northern Mexico is just on their route to the overwintering sites. Monarch have to spend considerable time building up their fat reserves by drinking the sugar-laden nectar from wildflowers.|
Often the landscape in Texas is parched, no wildflowers, no frost-weed blossoms to feed on. Without this food winter survival in Mexico and the migration back into the US the following spring is gravely endangered, many will die of starvation.
Industrial agricultural practices, the eradication of Monarch's primary food source, the milkweed, have eliminated more than 80 million acres of monarch habitat in recent years.
|A map of fall monarch migration|
When the butterflies reach their breeding ground around the Great Lakes region, they will be met with sprawling stands of soy and corn crops. Herbicide-tolerant crops that led to an increase in the amount of toxic spraying that has a very negative impact on monarchs.|
And some of Bt corn varieties are damaging butterflies.
Researchers could prove that monarch larvae fed milkweed leaves dusted with Bt-corn pollen ate less, developed more slowly, and died more frequently than those fed milkweed untainted by the transgenic pollen.
More recent research suggests that not many monarchs are threatened by exposure to Bt-corn pollen, so the total impact is small.
And while Mexico's butterfly reserves and Midwest breeding grounds may feel far from us in South Texas, there is a lot local residents can do to help.
Texas Monarch routes are essential for the northward migration. It is here where the monarchs first rush of egg laying. So the conditions here in Texas play a big role in the success of future monarch generations going north.
The Monarch has recently been added to the World Wildlife Fund's Top Ten Most Threatened Species list and the overwintering population this winter is the lowest ever recorded.
This is a Swallowtail Tiger
as butterfly and caterpillar
Gulf Fritillary - Agraulis vanillae|
Bear Springs Blossom Nature Preserve
|Swallowtail feeding on butterfly bush|
|HELP: Every backyard butterfly garden helps.|
|Gulf Fritillary butterfly seen at Bear Springs Blossom Nature Preserve|
Loosing the pollinator butterfly will endanger many native plants,
endangering the human food supply!|
It is really amazing to see how Nature provides balance to all life on Earth. Humans need to learn and understand!
Mother Nature has a great plan - humans just have learned a few bits of it.
BSB preserves - -
Copyright Bear Springs Blossom Nature Conservation
Save Earth - A Better life
Our Earth - - Our Moon
Our sun - - Our Planets
Earth's solar system
About Life on Earth - - Famous Buildings
BSB tries to be as accurate as possible, but we are not responsible for broken or false links or misinterpretation
We don't collect information from you!
BSB was founded 2002
As a nonprofit organization, BSB is always grateful for donations in support of our mission.
How life works
BSB Online book
Art in Nature
Buffalo / Bison
BSB Information topics:|
- Keep Earth beautiful?
Why update your education?
Be more happy!
- have more money!
- be more attractive!
- have a better life!
- have a longer life!
WHAT did God say?
- Protect Creation
- with Education
- Isn't that one of
- the Ten Commandments
- Join BSB
BSB Information on Water:
Why Earth has water
The H in H2O
Power from Water
Water + Energy
Water + Trees
Thirsty for water
Water Drought article
- Why does all life on Earth
depend on water?
- Why are the oceans salty?
- Why Water is a very
- Humans can live without food
for weeks, but
- without water we will
die after 3 days.
- Why do Humans use huge
amounts of water
to produce electricity?
- Is salt-water more heavy?
- Why can water dissolve
so many substances?
- Does water expand
when it gets warmer?
- Water Quiz
- Ocean quiz
- Environment Quiz
- BSB Quizzes are fun
- Do you recognize?
- To think about
- quiz questions
- will update your
- giving you a better life
Earth facts + numbers
Solar system Earth
Life on Earth
Keep Earth clean
Why Keep Earth?
Info about NASA
Earth from Space
BSB Information on Earth:|
- Why is Earth called the blue planet?
- Why Earth has continents?
- Why Earth has earthquakes?
- Earth, the only home for Humans?
- Earth's solar system is special
- Why is Earth sick?
- Earth climate is changing
- Earth uncountable species
- Astonishing photos from Earth
|Fair Use Notice|
All material on 1000+ BSB web-pages is intended to advance understanding of the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of Nature conservation. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from our websites for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the owner of copyrighted material(s) appearing on this site, and wish it to be removed, please contact us directly.