Nathan’s Notes

Come see one of the largest moths in the world, the Madagascar Moon Moth (Argema mittrei)! These beautifully marked silk moths can measure as much as a whopping eight inches or so from the top of their heads to the tip of the wing tails. Adults don’t have functioning mouths […]

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So often we feature exotic butterflies from all over the world in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing, but over the next few months we’ll be featuring a hometown kid: the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia). This small Iowa native species often gets overlooked, despite its showy coloring and striking eye-spot patterns on […]

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It’s been a great year for cicada killers (Sphecius speciosus), the largest wasp found in Iowa. Their scary-sounding name comes from their habit of feeding cicadas to their young in their nests. At Reiman Gardens, these impressive individuals can be seen going about their daily business especially on the magnolia trees […]

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We’re excited right now to have the Common Earl, Tanaecia julii, on display. This medium-sized member of the Nymphalid family resides in the rainforests and deciduous forests of  southern and southeastern Asia. We have not had this butterfly for at least three years. You’ll enjoy seeing the males, who are chocolate […]

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Unlike the butterfly and moths we have at Reiman Gardens which go through complete metamorphoses (Holometabolism) our New Guinea Walking Sticks go through incomplete metamorphoses (Hemimetabolism), where the young nymphs resemble the adults only smaller. Shortly after receiving our New Guinea Walking Sticks the females began laying eggs. Well those eggs […]

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With the cold temperatures in April it took a bit longer this year before we started seeing native butterflies flying outside. Now that the weather has warmed up species are being observed across Iowa. Each day, regardless of the time of year, species native to Iowa are in flight within the Christina […]

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Recently in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing, our rainbow eucalyptus was attacked by thrips, a nasty pest that was calling the leaves to fall off. We never use pesticides in the Butterfly Wing—those could kill butterflies as well as the problem insects. So instead we brought in predatory mites to […]

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We’ve got some exciting news! A new insect, aside from butterflies and moths, will now be permanently on display in the middle emergence case. The case will feature two different species of walking sticks. Walking sticks (Phasmatidae) are among the most fascinating of insects. They’ve taken the survival skill of […]

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While releasing new butterflies in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing one afternoon, I was fortunate enough to witness a pair of New Guinea Birdwings (Ornithoptera priamus) going through a courtship flight. The aerial display that these two truly impressive individuals were putting on totally mesmerized me. I found myself glued […]

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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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