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Southern California sky fills with butterflies thanks to painted women's migration



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3. March 2019, 3:19 AM GMT

To Phil Helsel

Southern California is known for its annual migration of everything on the move of butterflies as the painted lady. In recent days, the sky has been filled in some areas with the winged creatures.

People used social media to document insects fluttering in California. The butterflies travel from the deserts of Mexico and fly as long as their fat reserves persist before breeding. Generations of insects can reach as far as the Pacific Northwest.

"We were waiting for them to come here, but they have not come up yet," said Arthur M. Shapiro, a professor at the University of California, Davis' Department of Evolution and Ecology, College of Biological Sciences in near Sacramento.

"The years of vast wildflower blossoms are usually really big painted ladies' years," he added, adding the last really big one was 2005 with an estimated billion butterflies.


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