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Bug of the Week: Migrating Red Admiral Butterflies

The news this week is from the East Coast.

It turns out that there has been an awesome migration of red admiral butterflies (Vanessa atalanta) this year, especially in the Northeast.

(Red Admiral Butterfly by Peter Häger at Public Domain Pictures)

We always hear about the celebrity of butterfly migrants, the monarch, but other butterflies migrate, too. This year the red admirals attracted attention because of the numbers that were flying. Take a look (Note: there is a pop-up ad).

In 2008, I wrote a post about another species of Vanessa, the painted lady, Vanessa cardui, that was migrating in large numbers here in Arizona.

If you are interested in participating in a citizen science project, the 2012 Vanessa Migration Project is in full swing.  The project leaders want information on sightings of:

•    Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
•    Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui
•    American Lady, Vanessa virginiensis
•    West Coast Lady, Vanessa annabella

Vanessa Research Home page tells you more.

I'd love to hear from you if you decide to try it out.

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