Virginia Butterflies

by staff on August 24, 2013

Virginia Butterfly SeasonIt’s the season.  We see them everywhere.  This year it seems that our butterflies in Virginia are especially plentiful right now, and local botanists and horticulturalists have confirmed that impression.    Apparently our cool spring weather slowed down the butterfly period of egg-laying, and now they are catching up in their lifecycle …. though at a rate that’s 3-4 months later than usual.

Until I read the article in the link above, I confess that I didn’t realize how miraculous it is that a butterfly remains alive at all.  Did you know that even though a female can lay up to 400 eggs, their survival rate is under 2% ?  As in, 98 out of 100 eggs don’t survive.  They end up being food for other species.  And due to conditions such as weather, disease, or even the grill of your car … adult butterflies seldom live longer than a few weeks.

In the link above you can find out more about which plants host some particular varieties of butterflies.  In our yard just before autumn, each day hundreds of yellow butterflies flutter purposefully in one direction across the yard…. towards the south….like a passing band of yellow traffic.  In the article I learned that they have a limited time to do that, when the days get shorter and cooler, because by October they are mostly in the cocoon stage of their cycle.


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