Butterfly Concerns

by Pat Jaquith
pat@westvalleynaturalists.org


Nymphalis antiopa (Mourning Cloak Butterfly), the Montana State Butterfly

The sight of a Mourning Cloak butterfly is a sure sign of spring to me! In late fall, they crawl behind loose bark on a tree where they increase the level of glycerol in their blood, convert excess water in their bodies into a gelatin-like substance that doesn’t freeze, and spend the winter. As spring warmth arrives, they reverse those properties and start flying sooner than many others! Many butterflies endure the winter as eggs, caterpillars, or in a chrysalis. A few, like Monarchs, migrate to warmer climates.

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Bugs or Insects?

by Skip Via
skip@westvalleynaturalists.org

What’s the difference between a bug and an insect?

All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. Insects typically have a body segmented into three parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), a hard exoskeleton, six legs, and two antennae. Bees are insects. So are dragonflies, ants, butterflies, beetles, moths, and crickets among many others.

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