Page 9 - June 30, 2021
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{ 8 }  SNJ Today  |  JUNE 30, 2021                                                                                   JUNE 30, 2021  |   { 9 }
     understand that further we need to discuss   over here in southern New Jersey, prob-
     some natural history aspects of this species.  ably in crevices, woodpiles, and such.            RAMPARTS BOOT
        Their lifecycle begins with adults mat-  Red admirals have been observed in
     ing. The female lays eggs on plants in the   all months in southernmost New Jersey.
     nettle family and a caterpillar emerges. The   Occasional adults seen in or before March
     caterpillar relies on silking a leaf together,   have probably overwintered locally. Our
     creating a shelter to hide and eat; in this   region is recolonized each spring by
     stage it will need to make these shelters   migrants from the south starting about mid-
     several times as it grows. As you may recall,   April (Monroe and Wright, 2017, p.164).    SUPPORTING
     each caterpillar has specific host plants on   New broods peak about mid-June to mid-  OUR
     which it has evolved to feed. Ultimately   July, and late August – September (Burger/
     it molts into a chrysalis and ecloses as an   Gochfeld). Many of the first brood will   MILITARY
     adult 14 to 18 days later. The chrysalis   reproduce locally and will not migrate.
     resembles a dried leaf of the host plant,   During breeding season males are ter-
     offering additional camouflage.      ritorial, quarrelsome, and combative. They
        There are two broods in the northern   even chase people. They are the swift fliers
     part of their U.S. range. Overwintering   of the butterfly world but are also calmer
     adults can live six months or more but are   than many species and are easier to observe.
     mostly dormant in winter. Adults emerg-  When perching or resting they close
     ing in June/July generally live only a few   their wings and are well-camouflaged, dis-
     weeks. The later brood will migrate south   playing their underside with a wavy mar-
     and winter over as an adult. In the south-  ble-patterned hindwing and upper part
     ern part of their range there are as many as   of the forewing—browns, blues, and buffy
     four generations (Scott 1984). A few winter   colors. The white, blue, and orange on the
                                          lower portion of the forewing is obscured
                                          by the hindwing’s overlap. The upperside
       How To Attract                     is highly contrasted with both forewings
       Butterflies                        and hindwings marked by brilliant orange
                                          against a dark colored field that varies
          Want to attract butterflies to your   with browns and blues. When stalked the
 most unusual. It’s May, I’ve never seen   yard? Here’s what to provide:  wings can suddenly open, creating a flash
 anything like this! Normally you’re lucky to   • Butterflies are solar powered so   of color and causing a startle response
                                                                                       Layaway Available • Gift Certificates
 see a few at a time in mid-April but nothing   sunny spots are important.  from the would-be attacker. That spilt   Layaway  Available  •  Gif t C ertifica tes
 like this. There must be hundreds of thou-  • A sunny spot with some rocks   second can allow the butterfly to escape a   W e C arry Men’ s Sizes 5–17
                                                                                               We Carry Men’s Sizes 5–17
 sands of red admirals. Unbelievable!”   for basking.  predatory bird.

 When I got home I made a beeline to   • You will need nectar sources.   The coloration of the red admiral’s   Women’s Sizes 4–13 • Children’s Sizes 0 & up
 the computer and found out that this was   The Garden Gang website by Pat   upperside is unmistakable and is a favor-
                                                                                 Orthopedic & Diabetic Shoes • Shoe Repair • Shoe Dyeing
 an explosion of red admirals; other irrup-  Sutton provides names of many   ite of butterfly appreciators. When fully   Orthopedic & Diabetic Shoes  •  Shoe R epair  •  Shoe Dyeing
 tion years included 1990. There were many   plants that attract butterflies.  spread the orange colors of hindwings and   CLIP & SA VE         C OUPON
                                                                                       CLIP & SAVE         COUPON
 news stories about the phenomenon, which   • Most people forget host plants.   forewings nearly create a circle. An irrup-
 was known to happen once in a great while.   Note plants that your neighbor has   tion like the one I saw may happen a dozen   $  00
 The most famous time was in 1881 when   and try to complement with other   unlikely to notice. I was at the right place at  5  OFF
                                          times in a lifetime, but most people are
 Tsar Alexander II of Russia was assassi-  plants as well.
          • Plant scrubs for shelter.
 nated. The admiral, which exists on every   • If you are really into it, scat and   the right time and it was a spectacular sight
 continent except for Antarctica, boomed in   urine are also attractive to butterflies   that I will not easily forget.  n     $25 or more
 that year as well as in Asia. People said that   (no need to get carried away—just a   Not to be combined with any other offer. Expires 7/30/21.
 on the underside of the hindwing, which   bit).  Sources:
                                                                                                                CLIP & SAVE         COUPON
 can be viewed when the butterfly is at rest,   • A plate with some rotten fruit   U.S. Forest Service          CLIP & SA   VE         C OUPON
 people could make out an 1881.   will also attract butterflies: You can   Butterflies of New Jersey: A Guide to   $        00
 During the times of the tsars mysticism   use peaches, banana peels, water-  their Status and Distribution, J. Burger and   10      OFF
 was in fashion, and people said this was   melon, or apple cores.   M. Gochfeld
 an omen and declared the red admiral the   • Make a place for a puddle. Be   How to Spot Butterflies, Pat and Clay
 butterfly of doom. Rasputin wasn’t at the   sure to let it go dry often enough not   Sutton                         $100 or more
 height of his influence until 1915, but I sup-  to support mosquitos.  Vladimir Nabokov, author “butterfly of   Not to be combined with any other offer. Expires 7/30/21.
 pose such inclinations were prevalent even   • Shelters like a stack of logs or   doom” reference to his comments (multiple
 before his reign of nonsense. Try as I may I   brush pile help butterflies, too.  articles).
 can’t make out an 1881 pattern on the hind-  Get lots of ideas like these and
 wing. But I’m not a mystic, either.  more from: How to Spot Butterflies,   Further reading:
 Experts do not know why red admirals   Pat and Clay Sutton and Butterflies   Caterpillars in the Field and Garden, T.
 sometimes have these prolific irruptions   of New Jersey: A Guide to their   Allen, J. Brock, J. Glassberg  639 Landis A ve.  • V ineland
 but they do seem to agree that they are like-  Status and Distribution, J. Burger   Caterpillars of Eastern North America,
       and M. Gochfeld
 ly connected with mild winter weather. To                                       856-691-1180 •
                                          D. Wagner
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