Thursday, September 13, 2012

Yellow Butterflies.....

The old timers say that the drum are biting when you see those yellow butterflies.......but here is the rest of the story, in Bryan "Hard Core"'s  words:

" Lets see....   Giant Cloudless Sulfurs are a migratory butterfly.  Whereas most butterflies lay their eggs in the fall and the adults die off, leaving the eggs to overwinter (they freeze and thaw but dont die), the Giant Cloudless Sulfur overwinters as an adult. When the days start getting shorter, they start heading south to avoid freezing to death. From as far as Quebec, they make their way due south, growing in numbers along the way.
And when I say due south, I mean it.  Check it out sometime... if you see a Giant Cloudless Sulfur on a beeline for your boat or house, it will not go around it, it goes up and over to stay on a straight line. They usually fly 5 -10 feet off the ground.  Once it clears an obstacle, it comes right back down to its intended height off the ground without venturing off course.  They make about 10-15 miles/day and it appears that the destination of choice is South-Central Florida.  In years past there were huge swarms of them seen over the open ocean heading to the Bahamas, but for some reason that doesn't seem to happen anymore.  Probably change in planting habits or pesticide and herbicide use.  Maybe the entire genetic stock that went to the Bahamas was out over the ocean when Hurricane Andrew hit.  Who knows. Anyway, the ones you see are heading to South Florida for the winter.  Just like a Yankee.  Then, just like Monarch butterflies, they lay their eggs and die and it's the next generation that makes the northward journey in the spring to their northern feeding and breeding grounds (in fewer numbers than the fall).  And its a different generation still that comes back south. Pretty wild.  Anyway, thats what I know about Giant Cloudless Sulfurs. "