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The Painted Lady is quite similar in appearance to the American Lady.

Transformation of a Painted Lady Butterfly - The Butterly Life Cycle

There are several differences which help differentiate the two species. Male Painted Ladies are territorial. They perch and patrol during the afternoon, looking for receptive females, usually on bare ground in open area. Males generally mate with multiple females to maximize their progeny. Female Painted Lady butterflies lay single eggs on host plant leaves.

Adult Painted Ladies consume nectar from many different plant species, both native and nonnative plants. They are reported to nectar on summer-bloooming wildflowers such as asters, cosmos, blazing star, ironweed, Joe Pye Weed, Comomon Milkweed, Spotted Knapweed, and Red Clover.

Painted Lady Caterpillar to Butterfly Book | Insect Lore

Newcastle Upon Tyne. Northeast England branch. Butterfly Conservation. Skip to content Butterflies of Northumberland. Painted Lady male [1] Neil Hulme. Painted Lady male [1] Iain Leach. Painted Lady female [1] Vince Massimo. Painted Lady female [1] Pauline.

Painted Lady egg [1] Gary N.

Painted Lady pupa [1] Pete Eeles. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Each group participated in three experimental trials for each independent variable color and structure , which were conducted over six days, with three hours of data collection each day.

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This was for a total of 54 hours of data collection spread over 18 days. Results show that Painted Lady butterflies prefer to feed on purple flowers and like white flowers the least.

Painted Lady (Butterfly Book 1)

Overall, the results show that Painted Lady butterflies do not feed randomly; they have a preference for feeding on purple flowers. Table 2 shows the data from all of the trials for Groups I to III, which tested which flower structure the butterflies prefer to feed on. Results show that Painted Lady butterflies prefer to feed on clustered flowers and like the large single flower the least.

The results show that Painted Lady butterflies do not feed randomly; they show a preference for feeding on clustered flowers. To get extra information about which flowers were the butterflies' favorites, data was also recorded when a butterfly landed on a flower but did not feed at all, and when butterflies stayed to feed on a flower longer than three minutes at a time.


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The data from this project answers the research question and supports the hypothesis. It shows that given a choice of flowers to feed on, Painted Lady butterflies do display a preference for certain flowers depending on the color or structure of a flower. I was not surprised because my background research made me think that a clustered flower is a good choice because it gives a place for the butterfly to land and can support its weight, and also provides many sips of nectar close by to make feeding very efficient. Purple is a favorite color, and this may be because of the butterfly's eyesight.

Butterflies can see ultraviolet light, and purple is the wavelength of visible light closest to ultraviolet, and that may be why butterflies are most attracted to purple.

Raising Painted Lady Butterflies

Purple may also stand out better against the green leaves of a plant. White is all of the visible colors being reflected, and maybe the butterfly cannot see that color as well and so is not attracted to it. I believe that the butterflies do not like large single flowers as much because they do not offer much nectar in one visit, and it may be hard for the butterfly to reach its proboscis deep inside because it is a bigger flower. Another observation from my data collection was that when a butterfly fed on a flower it liked, it often stayed on that flower longer to feed.

If it was an unpopular flower, it often just landed on the flower without feeding. Butterflies have sensors for tasting on their feet, so when they land on a flower they can decide right away if they like that flower or not. The data for landing only, without feeding, give extra support to show what their feeding preferences were.

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They also fed longer on purple flowers and clustered flowers, which shows that they really do prefer these flowers. I made many interesting observations during my data collection. At the start of this project, I planned on doing the testing inside because I knew that butterflies need light and warmth to be active. The room would be at a constant warm temperature, and I would have the lights on a schedule.

I thought those would be the best conditions, but I observed that the butterflies were feeding very little or not at all, and mostly rested with their wings closed.

I thought that maybe the butterflies need the light and warmth from the Sun to be active and feed. The moment I carried the habitats outside, they opened their wings to bask and soon became active. I also observed changes in their feeding habits depending on the weather; they fed more when it was sunny than when it was cloudy outside. If I could do this experiment again, I would do it in the spring when there are more types of flowers in bloom so I could have a wider selection to test.

An idea for a future project would be to use different color flowers or different flowers that fit in the structure categories. It would be interesting to see what the feeding preferences are of a different species of butterfly, and how that might compare to Painted Ladies. I would be especially interested in Monarchs.

Resources for this kit

Biodiversity is the variety of all living organisms and the ecosystems that they are part of. It helps provide the basic human needs such as food, shelter, and medicine. It composes ecosystems that maintain oxygen in the air, enrich the soil, purify the water, and regulate climate. CIEL Because human society is growing quickly and uses a huge amount of resources, there has been a sharp increase in the loss of biodiversity, so it is important to remember that every living thing on Earth has a part in the circle of life.

Insects are an important part of our world because they have the largest number of species and the largest number of individual organisms; "their combined biomass represents an important food resource for other animals, and they contain much of the raw materials for the energy and nutrients that are cycled through ecosystems" Schappert So insects are a very important part of biodiversity. Studying butterflies is important for general scientific learning.

Information learned can be helpful to preserve and restore habitats, as well as provide adequate food in migration pathways or exhibits" Kracht Because insects have a reputation for causing problems, many people are not concerned about their conservation. Luckily, people are not as unsympathetic about butterfly conservation as they are about other insects, because butterflies need our help.