How butterfly migrate over long distances, they are so fragile?
Fragile appearance of butterflies is deceptive. Durable and at the same time light exoskeleton, the unique characteristics of the wing musculature, the mechanism of attachment and work of wings, highly sensitive and varied receptors allow some of them to successfully perform MILITARY MIGRATION. True, long flights are characteristic of about 20 species from more than 200,000. The most famous migrants are Danaida monarchs, brahniks, reicts and admirals.
Depending on the strength of the wind, they are moving at a speed of from 12.7 to 16.5 m / s, but there are among them and record holders. So, the brahniks are able to develop speed up to 27.7 m / s.
The butterflies fly not around the clock, but stop on vacation (daytime – for the night, night – for a day), after which they rises again to a certain height and continue flight. In this mode, they manage to overcome about 2000 km, having rested only two or three times.
In 2018, an article was published in Biology Letters magazine, the authors of which suggested that the rapids migrate to the biggest distances. Each fall they move from the countries of Southern Europe to Africa, and in the spring they return home, overcoming about 12,000 km per year. Learn these scientists were able, having studied the chemical composition of flakes of wings. He showed, in what places the butterfly was fed. Earlier, the records of the monarchs were considered the record holders on the duration of the flight with the annual "mileage" about 10,000 km.
Butterfly managed to overcome about 2000 km, having rested the entire leavage-three times
To understand how the butterflies fly such long distances, scientists conducted a genetic analysis of migratory and sedentary populations of monarchs and found that they differ in genes governing the structure of the muscles of the wings and the effectiveness of metabolism. It turned out that migrants wing muscles are stronger and consume much less energy. At the same time, the rest work equally.
Nevertheless, the question of the migration of butterflies is still far from permission. It is not yet known how they are oriented. It is assumed that the daytime exercise navigation through the sun, night – in the moon and stars. In addition, they can navigate the polarization of the sky, the inner biological clock and the magnetic field. In 2014, American scientists found that the Danaids of the monarchs have a magnetic compass. Earlier in the mustache of these butterflies, a sunny "sensor" was discovered, allowing to find a road through the light. But it remained incomprehensible how they manage not to get off the way in bad weather. Experiments have shown that these insects have a "compass" to measure the magnetic inclination – the same as in migratory birds, reptiles, amphibians and turtles. The findings are published in the edition of Nature Communications. (Do you know how to find their way pigeons?)
There is no doubt that during the flight of a butterfly correct course in the right direction. But how do they do it – it is not clear. As it is unclear how with such a small size they are able to withstand the wind. However, during long migrations of a considerable number of individuals still die. By the way, did you know that butterflies inherent genetic memory and she remembers was a caterpillar? And here is the tracks. Some will agree – in this photo project, they are very beautiful.