Butterflies that Overwinter as Adults
With all the warm weather this week, butterflies are suddenly appearing out of nowhere. Unlike most butterflies, which typically spend the winter as eggs or pupae (inside of chrysalises), red admirals, mourning cloaks and eastern commas (pictured) simply slip out from behind loose bark, where they overwintered as adults, and take to the air. Those species of butterflies which spent the winter as eggs or pupae must undergo metamorphosis this spring, and won’t appear in their adult form until later in the year. With so few wildflowers out now, especially this year, sap from broken tree branches sustains early-emerging butterflies!
This entry was posted on March 23, 2012 by Mary Holland. It was filed under Arthropods, Butterflies, Insects, Lepidoptera, March, Metamorphosis, Signs of Spring and was tagged with Butterflies, Eastern Comma, Insect Metamorphosis, Lepidoptera, Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa, Polygonia comma, Red Admiral, Signs of Spring, Vanessa atalanta.