Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's this?

An artificial lepidopteran hibernaculum, of course!

My guess was an overwintering box for ladybird beetles (ladybugs). Close, but wrong. A web search told me this contraption, installed in Paulik Park, is an overwintering box for butterflies. Inside there should be bark containing butterfly-sized nooks and crannies.

Two butterflies that overwinter as adults in these parts are the Mourning Cloak (link describes how they survive freezing temperatures), and Compton Tortoiseshell.

Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiope.

Compton Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis vau-album.


I likE plants! said...

Very interesting!!! I would have never guessed that!!!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Huh, maybe my fritillary needs one of those.

beetles in the bush said...

Hi Hugh -- you have been tagged Don't blame me - it's Adrian's fault ;-)
regards -- ted

PSYL said...

A great idea to protect our lepidopteran friends. But I wonder how will the butterflies find this site and will it attract other insects and insectivores as well?

Any chance of peeking inside and seeing who's inhabiting it?

Hugh said...

You never peek inside them. You put them up and trust that things will unfold as you have hoped and imagined.

cedrorum said...

That's interesting. I've never seen one of those before.