An Incredibly Small Butterfly Species Has Set A Record For The Longest Non-Stop Flight
It is important that butterflies migrate to hospitable regions during seasonal transitions. Butterflies are sensitive to small changes in temperature, which is why they have adapted the ability to fly long distances without stopping for a break. Butterflies are not the fastest of fliers, but they can sure endure long flights. For example, the painted lady butterfly is capable of flying great distances without stopping. In fact, this butterfly can fly over distances that span twenty five hundred miles without stopping once.
Two researchers working for National Geographic Magazine recently traveled to Africa in order to study the painted lady butterfly species. The researchers were specifically attempting to determine where the painted lady goes during the winter months. Researchers have already learned a lot about this butterfly’s migratory behaviors. These butterflies are located on every single continent except for Antarctica and South America. During the summer painted ladies are abundant in the United States. Before the onset of winter, these butterflies migrate south to Mexico. These butterflies have also been observed migrating from Eurasian territories to the Saharan desert. Once the butterflies reach the Sahara, they disappear, leaving no trace of themselves behind.
The two researchers eventually tracked the painted ladies destination to regions within tropical Africa. Over twenty thousand of these butterflies were found concentrated within one hectare of land in certain regions of Chad, Benin, and Niger. This finding amazed the two researchers as this proved that the minute painted lady butterfly species is capable of continuous travel spanning a distance that cannot be matched by any other butterfly species. Surprisingly, this butterfly species is only two inches in length. Tracking the painted ladies was difficult as they travel at altitudes that other flying insects can not even approach. Painted ladies also change their migratory destinations and they do not always migrate at the same times of year.
Do you know of any other insects that can traverse over entire oceans in order to reach new continents?