Nathan’s Notes

Two uncommon and a first time butterfly species can be seen this month in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing. The New Guinea Birdwing (Ornithoptera priamas) hasn’t been flown since 2015. The Madagascar Moon Moth (Argema mittrei) was only flown in 2008, and the Madagascar Giant Swallowtail (Papilio antenor) has never been flown […]

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Camouflage isn’t just a fashion trend. It’s also a smart way for animals—butterflies included—to survive so predators can’t see them. Right now in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing, we have an outstanding example of that: the Mosaic Butterfly (Colobura dirce). When this Costa Rican native is resting with its wings […]

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Here’s a reason to celebrate shorter days: it gives you an ideal opportunity to observe the fascinating “communal roosting” behavior of the nine species of Longwing (Heliconis) butterflies we now have in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing. At night, they gather together in spectacular masses. Worth a visit!

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One of the regulars at the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing are the owl butterflies, which belong to the Caligo family. These natives to Central and South America are easy to identify because they have what look like a large owl eye on each of their hind wings. They typically fly […]

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If you’ve been seeing a lot of Monarch-like butterflies lately, they are most likely Painted Ladies. They’ve been swarming flowering plants all across Iowa. These butterflies are smaller than Monarchs with more tan markings. The weather this year has been good for butterflies in general, but the reason we’re seeing […]

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National Moth Week is July 22-30, and to celebrate, we’ll have Iowa native moths in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing. The Polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus, is one of our country’s largest and most beautiful silk moths. It is named after Polyphemus, the giant cyclops from Greek mythology who had a single […]

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The Common Blue Morpho (Morpho pelides) is a visitor favorite inside the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing. This Central to South American butterfly typically resides in the forest along paths or waterways. In addition to their large size, visitors are also impressed by their brilliant blue coloration found on their wings. Unlike […]

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In the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing this month, keep an eye out for a sweet treat, the Chocolate Pansy butterfly (Junonia iphita). This small multi-toned brown butterfly from Asia is seasonally dimorphic, that is, it has different patterns at different times of the year. This particular butterfly has both a dry- […]

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The Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing has a new web application to allow users to learn more about the butterflies and moths in the Butterfly Wing. The new application was created by a group of students from the College of Engineering — Electrical and Computer Engineering Department’s senior design class. You can learn […]

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This month in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing we will be flying a butterfly, Perrhybris pyrrha, which is interesting on a couple of counts. First, this species is sexually dimorphic, meaning the females and males look different than each other — and in the case of Perrhbris pyrrha that difference […]

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