It’s a bird, it’s a plane – wait, no… it’s a butterfly!
Angelenos are reporting seeing an unusual amount of butterflies flying around the city following the recent rainstorm. The orange, black and white floating insects are called Painted Ladies – they’re a couple of inches long and habitually live in the areas surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border.
The butterfly’s move upstate can be explained by all the food that the rains have brought to the city! Painted ladies enjoy warm temperatures and relatively wet weather since it helps the thistles and cheeseweeds they feed on bloom.
Though they look like Monarch butterflies, who tend to make a return trip, the seasonal excursions of Painted Ladies are often one-way. The adult life span of these brightly-colored creatures are only two to four weeks long, so once they’re born in warm, dry areas like Baja California and the desert areas – they fly northwest to find coastal wildflowers to feed on before mating, laying eggs, and dying.
If you spot a Painted Lady or two while driving, try to slow down and be mindful of they’re commute!
I thought they were blowing leaves at first, but no … SO MANY BUTTERFLIES in #Pasadena today. Mass migration? Are cocoons opening en masse in a sign of spring?
Whatever, it's just beautiful. 🦋🦋 pic.twitter.com/wZxSfeFu8i
— Kyle Stokes (@kystokes) March 7, 2019
Also published on Medium.