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Large Numbers of Red Admiral Butterflies Everywhere

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posted on May, 3 2012 @ 05:43 PM
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This is my first thread, I am usually more of a lurker but I wanted to share and discuss something unusual happening today where I live.

I am located in upstate NY and it is another warmer than usual day here, in the upper 70s and humid. On a side note we had the long stretch of record warm weather in March, followed by cold freezes and a late April snow event. This caused a lot of early blooming of trees and plants and we may have lost almost 100% of apples, peaches, cherries due to the early blossoms being damaged by the cold snaps. Upstate NY produces a large number of fruit and this will likely be devastating and something everyone will be hearing more of in the coming weeks.

Now I think we are witnessing another odd occurrence from the mild winter and early Spring (Summer like) weather. When I was out driving today there were butterflies flying everywhere, hundreds of thousands of them! I thought they were locusts at first because of their size and the fact that there were so many of them. They were flying into cars, all over the road, I had to wash my windshield multiple times to the point it was distracting to drive. I have never seen or witnessed so many butterflies before. They have been around all day and I think I may have seen one or two of these over the course of an entire Spring/Summer so this is extremely unusual. They are beautiful with vivid black, orange and white markings and look like small monarchs.

I did some research to identify them as "Red Admirals" after taking a photo of one on the ground and it appears that they are in high numbers in other states across the country and into Canada as well this Spring. I am interested in knowing if anyone else has witnessed these butterflies (or others) in large numbers elsewhere?

About the Red Admiral

I also came across some interesting history about them - apparently they are also known as Nabokov's butterfly or "the butterfly of doom". This web page is long and the information is about half way down.

Butterfly Guide


"Its coloring is quite splendid and I liked it very much in my youth. Great numbers of them migrated from Africa to Northern Russia, where it was called 'The Butterfly of Doom' because it first appeared in 1881, the year Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and the markings on the underside of its two hind wings seem to read '1881'.


A blog about others seeing them in large quantities:

Red Admiral Butterflies

Perhaps they were able to multiply so much more this year because of the mild winter an increase in vegetation or maybe something else is driving their high numbers such as the high pollen? If it was due to the mild winter perhaps we should see large numbers of other insects this year as well.




edit on 3-5-2012 by CINY8 because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 3 2012 @ 05:50 PM
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reply to post by CINY8
 





If it was due to the mild winter perhaps we should see large numbers of other insects this year as well.


I have to agree
And by summer time these critters will be like a
Plague
SnF

Cran



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 05:52 PM
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There appears to be a nest of them in a bush next to the front door of my home. When I walk in or outside, about 20 of them fly out in a crazy swarm. I live in Texas, near the Oklahoma border.



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by CINY8
 


I would certainly attribute this to the temperatures over the past year. I too have noticed a large amount of Red Admiral Butterflies in Southeaster Pennsylvania. I typically do not see them, especially this many. I had been noticing them everywhere, but didn't think to make a correlation. So it is certainly interesting that you are seeing the same several hundred miles North. I guess it's not just me.



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 09:16 PM
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You think the butterflies are bad? Wait for the mosquitos!

I kinda attribute it to this

Mystery Disease Forcing Bats to Extinction: White Nose Syndrome (WNS)
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 09:19 PM
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I had a large group of 2 or 3 dozen take off about 3 days ago when I stepped outside my back door. They were all over a dirt path and tarp that was hanging over some firewood. I thought it was odd as I'd never seen so many butterflies in one place with nothing blooming immediately nearby. I do have dozens of azaleas and several large rhododendron plus many wildflowers in my yard though.

Maybe the Russian misread the markings, it says 2112 not 1881.


ETA - I live in central Virginia, Lynchburg area.
edit on 3-5-2012 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 09:34 PM
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Saw plenty of them today. They were flying into the windows of my office. My curiosity got me outside to see what was making the noise and they were everywhere. They are very fast... My office is in Brewerton NY.



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 09:55 PM
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I'd like to think that an over-abundance is better than too few is it not? I'm always reading articles about how low a species population is, or how few of a species are left, etc.

There was another thread about recent pollen counts being high aswell, and there was some insinuation that it could be a type of primitive "survival mechanism" from the plants. I wonder if thius might could be something similar? I'm sure it's a stretch, but just a thouight



 
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posted on May, 4 2012 @ 01:25 PM
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Yep, got them everywhere! Wait till the veggies come on and their larvae will infest the cabage and brasicca's!
2nd



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 01:34 PM
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I saw thousands. literally, yesterday.
Commented to everybody I spoke with and we were all in consensus with how abundant the butterflies were.
Central PA USA



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 08:50 PM
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I havent see any butterflies at all this year. It's too cold where I live.

Here's the origin of butterfly of doom


The Red Admiral is considered the favorite butterfly of author and amateur lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov (1899 – 1977); it’s mentioned throughout his writings, taking a prominent role in the 1962 novel Pale Fire. When scholar Alfred Appel, Jr., asked why he was so fond of Vanessa atalanta, Nabokov replied: “Its coloring is quite splendid and I liked it very much in my youth. Great numbers of them migrated from Africa to Northern Russia, where it was called ‘The Butterfly of Doom’ because it first appeared in 1881, the year Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and the markings on the underside of its two hind wings seem to read ’1881′. There is something interesting in the Red Admirable’s ability to travel so far.
..


Link



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 09:15 PM
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I also live in Upstate NY. While I don't think I witnessed the same numbers you did, it is very noticeable this week that their are far greater numbers of butterflies than I can ever remember in this area. It's been a bit of a buzz with others I know as well that everyone has noticed them.



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