Leaves may yellow
The river gushes with rapid
The sun once shone on carriage wheels when horses used to plough the fields
The sun still shines
Love is not measured by miles near or far but by the heart, the connecting star...
The time has come for me to
My love for you remains
flytraps are plants that absorb nutrients from gases in
the air and the soil, as well as digest various small
insects like; flies, spiders, bees and an occasional Monarch butterfly.
Once an insect is captured,
the plant closes its trap tightly around the meal and
bathes it in digestive juices that dissolve the insect.
Digestion takes five to 12 days, after which the trap
reopens and the insect remains (skeleton/shell) are
washed away by rain or by wind "notice
a spider trapped within its jaws".
flytrap exhibit one of the fastest movements in the plant
kingdom, its one of the plant kingdom's fastest and most ferocious
movements: at the blink-of-an-eye--it can snap its v-shaped
clamshell leaves around an insect in less than one-tenth of a
second and snaring a fly.
The secret has been revealed
animals--have no muscles or brains--and plants are not known for
their ability to move quickly, as a team of scientists and engineers
point out in the Jan. 27 issue of the journal Nature--The
Wild Venus flytrap plants tends to deploy their wide hart shaped leaves just like solar panels which grab energy, by making the leaves wide during the time when the plant can take more energy from less light.
And when the sun is at its strongest position--it can deploy its long slim leaves to stand out from the grass and be seen by insects.
When the plant gets too much nourishment from the insects that it catches, it looses a lot of the red on its new growth and when the growth of the plant slows down by the lack of nourishment--it begins to deploy redder traps in full sun or during cooler weather.
The Venus flytrap plant maybe serving some sort of evolutionary process and further adaptation by evolving a mean to acquire a more attractive color in the traps which the plant uses to attract more insects.
|Venus flytrap produces delicious
sap and the trap snap shut when triggered by touch
on any 2 small hairs within the plant.
A close-up inside the jaws of a Venus' Fly Trap, Dionaea muscipula. These trigger hairs signal the trap to close when two hairs are touched once or one hair is touched twice.
the trigger hairs are visible to the human eye, but the image above
here has been enhanced and enlarged for you to spot them easily. The
Venus' Fly Trap, trap design makes it one of the most
fascinating and famous carnivorous plants in the world and snap it
clamshell leaves within one-tenth of a second.
What do butterflies do when it rains? And why butterflies are rarely seen when it rains? Michael Raupp, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, offers this answer...
Imagine a monarch butterfly searching for nectar or a mate in a meadow on a humid afternoon in July. Suddenly, a fast moving thunderstorm approaches, bringing gusty winds and large raindrops.
For the monarch and other butterflies this is not a trivial matter. An average monarch weights roughly 500 milligrams and large raindrops have a mass of 70 milligrams or more.
A 70mg size raindrop striking a monarch would be equivalent to your or I being pelted by water balloons with twice the mass of bowling balls.
The Monarch is a
poisonous butterfly. Animals that eat a Monarch get very sick (generally do not die),
remember that the brightly-colored "Monarch" butterfly made them very sick and
This proboscis uncoils to sip food, and coils up again into a spiral when not in use. Monarchs drink nectar from many flowers, including milkweed, dogbane, red clover, thistle, lantana, lilac, goldenrod, etc.
monarch butterfly flying away after feeding.
Amateur and professional lepidopterists tell tales of butterflies darting into protective vegetations and scrambling beneath leaves when dark skies, strong breezes and the first raindrops signal an imminent storm. During heavy rains and wind, butterflies are rarely seen.
Not only does rain pose a direct threat of injury or death, but the cool air associated with storms may also reduce temperatures below the thermal threshold for butterfly flight.
In preparation for flights, these aerial acrobats expose their wings to direct sunlight, which rapidly warms their flight muscles. Overcast skies limit their ability to gather the solar radiation needed to take wind.
A butterfly knocked from the air by raindrops thus faces the double threat of crashing in an inhospitable habitat where predators lay in wait and being unable to warm its body sufficiently to regain flight. little wonder, then, that when skies darken, butterflies seek shelter in their night time homes.
Butterflies are quiescent when it is dark and take refuge in protected locations called roosts within one or two hours of sunset. Roosts may be tall grasses, perennial herbaceous plants, tangle leaves or woody shrubs, undersides of large leaves, caves or, in some cases, man made objects such as fences or hanging baskets.
Butterflies may also roost in the vegetation beneath overhanging trees. The leaves of t he upper canopy intercept raindrops and reduce their impact on vegetation and butterflies below.
Heliconius exhibits curious fidelity to roosts, often returning to the same location or individual plant for several nights.
When rain threatens, zebra butterflies enter their nocturnal roosts much earlier that they would on clear days. And, like us humans, they demonstrate considerable lethargy on rainy mornings, delaying their usual early departure by as much as several hours.
Usually long stretches of rainy weather may even reduce the population of butterflies in a roosting group, because cool temperatures hinder the mobility and therefore their ability to escape from predators.
do in the rain is avoid a shower, they often resume patrolling and
courting within minutes. So the next time the sky darkens and thundr
rumbles, take a cue from the butterflies. Find a safe roost out of the
rain, but as soon as the sun returns, go out and enjoy - (c) 2006
The monarch butterfly
Adult female monarchs lay their eggs on the underside of
milkweed leaves. These eggs hatch, depending on temperature, in three to
twelve days. The larvae feed on the plant leaves for about two weeks and
develop into caterpillars about 2 inches long.
The monarch butterfly makes a poisonous snack but seems to have no effect on the taste bud of the carnivorous Venus Flytrap Dionaea muscipula
the caterpillars attach themselves head down to
a convenient twig, they shed their outer skin and begin the transformation
into a pupa (or chrysalis), a process which is completed in a matter of hours.
<<The pupa resembles a waxy, jade vase and becomes increasingly transparent as the process progresses. The caterpillar completes the miraculous transformation into a beautiful adult butterfly in about two weeks.
<<The Monarch chrysalis is one of nature's most beautiful creations.
<<This Monarch butterfly chrysalis wears a crown of gold on jade green.
About 24 hours before the emergence of the adult butterfly, the chrysalis becomes completely transparent, revealing the new butterfly inside.
After struggling free of the chrysalis, the Monarch immediately begins to inflate its wings with a reservoir of fluid contained in its swollen abdomen.
As the wings inflate, the body of the butterfly attains its normal proportions. When the wings are fully inflated, the insect expels any excess fluid and rests.
It inflates its wings with a pool of blood it has stored in its abdomen. When
this is done, the monarch expels any excess fluid and rests.
The toxins from the monarch's milkweed diet have given the butterfly this defense. In either the caterpillar or butterfly stage the monarch needs no camouflage because it takes in toxins from the milkweed and is poisonous to predators.
The Monarch is a poisonous butterfly. Most predators learned that the monarch butterfly makes a poisonous snack, animals that eat a Monarch get very sick and vomit (but generally do not die).
These animals remember that this brightly-colored butterfly made them very sick and will them in the future.
Monarch butterflies are beautiful, flying insects with large scaly wings. Like all insects, they have six jointed legs, 3 body parts, a pair of antennae, compound eyes, and an exoskeleton.
The three body parts are the head, thorax (the chest), and abdomen (the tail end). The four wings and the six legs of the butterfly are attached to the thorax. The thorax contains the muscles that make the legs and wings move.
The Monarch as a common poisonous butterfly that eats
poisonous milkweed in its larval stage and lays its eggs on the milkweed
plant. Monarchs have a wingspan of 3 3/8 - 4 7/8 inches (8.6 - 12.4 cm).
Cycle of a MONARCH butterfly
Egg - The Monarch starts its life as a ridged, spherical egg only l/8th of an inch long. The eggs are always laid singly, on the underside of milkweed leaves. The female attaches the egg to the leaf with a quick-drying glue which she secretes along with the egg. The egg hatches in about 3 to 5 days. A tiny wormlike larva emerges.
Larva - The larva (caterpillar) hatches from its egg and eats it. Then it eats milkweed leaves almost constantly. The caterpillar molts (loses its old skin) four times as it grows; after each molt it eats its old skin. When the larva is about 2 inches (5 cm) long, it will stop eating and find a place (like a protected branch) on which to pupate.
The caterpillar's first meal is its own eggshell. After that, Monarch caterpillars eat the poisonous milkweed leaves to incorporate the milkweed toxins into their bodies in order to poison their predators. Milkweed (genus Asclepius) is a common plant that contains toxins.
There are more than
100 species of this perennial herb, containing varying concentrations of toxic
chemicals (glycosides). The Monarch is considered a beneficial insect because
its caterpillar eats the noxious milkweed plant which invades some farms.
It has 2 pairs of sensory tentacles, one pair on the head and another pair near the end of the abdomen.
Pupa - The caterpillar turns into a pupa (chrysalis). The caterpillar spins silk from its spinneret and attaches its hind end to a branch with the silk and small hooks in the anal prolegs. The monarch remains in its pupa for about 10 to 14 days.
It hangs head down and molts for the last time. When the newly-exposed skin dries and hardens, it takes the form of a jade green chrysalis.
During this stage the caterpillar turns into a butterfly as its entire body is reorganized. In about 10-12 days the chrysalis becomes transparent and a damp butterfly soon emerges.
Adult - A beautiful but damp Monarch adult emerges from the chrysalis. It pumps liquid into the wing veins to inflate them. They soon dry, but during this process, the butterfly is vulnerable to predators.
It can only eat liquids, which it does through its proboscis.
will continue the cycle by reproducing. It takes about a month for the adult to develop (from egg to
pupa to adult).
Acknowledgment, source of info for Tracking Monarchs butterfly, ED Stoddard--Reuters, 31st Oct 2006 The Star, Environment T9
have no growth during the adult stage. The body is black with
white spots. Their wings
have white spots on
outer margins, and three orange patches are found near the top
of the forewings. The hind wings are rounded, and lighter in
color than the forewings.
The life span of the adult Monarch varies, depending on the season in which it emerged from the pupa and whether or not it belongs to a migratory group of Monarchs.
Migratory Monarchs, which emerge from the pupa in late summer and then migrate south, live a much longer life, about 8-9 months.
Adults that emerged in early summer have the shortest life spans and live for about two to five weeks. Those that emerged in late summer survive over the winter months.
It is a delicate process but for Gayle Hall, "It's a labor of love: tagging monarch butterflies as part of a programmed to monitor the movements of one of nature's most celebrated migrants", she said.
Hall's tagged 80,000 to 100,000 butterflies yearly and they are released at an annual festival in the Texas city of Grapevine that honors the monarchs, famed for their overland migrations from Canada to Mexico and back again.
"Some monarchs travel up to 5,000KM in a journey which is unique in the butterfly world", said Chip Taylor--an insect ecologist at the University of Kansa who heads Monarch Watch monitoring programmed behind the tags. www.monarchwatch.org
Each tag is pressed onto the monarch wing and have a unique identification number and a toll-free phone number and email for contact. Most Monarchs are caught in the wild for tagging (some farmed by breeders), even reared ones instinctively join the migration which have hundreds of millions of butterflies heading south to their Mexican wintering grounds.
Taylor said; "The program in place since 1992 enable scientists to gather data and one certainty to emerge from the 14-year database was that monarch populations varied widely from year to year from weather-related factors. The populations which winter at several sites west of Mexico City are benchmark and counted by the 6.5 to 21 hectares they covered, each hectare is estimated to hold between 25 and 75 million monarchs".
The monarch butterflies have plenty of natural hazards en route including predatory birds. The autumn migration is the highlight of the cycle. The spring and summer migrations span generations in a gradual re-colonization of the northern territory before the last batch makes the long trek back to Mexico.
monarch butterfly flying away after feeding.
Some monarchs travel up to 5,000km in a
journey which is unique in the butterfly world.
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