Rare large blue butterflies reintroduced in Gloucestershire

August 14, 2020 by  
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Rare large blue butterflies just experienced their most substantial reintroduction into the wild. About 750 of the globally endangered butterflies successfully hatched from larvae and flapped around Rodborough Common in Gloucestershire this summer. “Bringing such an important and rare species back to Rodborough Common is a testament to what collaborations between organisations and individuals can achieve,” said  conservation  officer Julian Bendle in a press release issued by National Trust. “Creating the right conditions has been vital to the programme and this doesn’t happen overnight.” Related: Migrating monarch butterflies get the right-of-way in new agreement Rodborough Common serves as both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. Officials selected this area for the butterfly release because it met the species’  habitat  requirements. The space houses several rare plants and insects, including the pasqueflower, duke of burgundy butterfly, rock rose pot beetle and fourteen different orchid species. Of Britain’s nine types of blue butterflies, the large blue, with a wingspan surpassing two inches, remains the biggest and rarest. With no large blue sightings at Rodborough Common logged for 150 years, in 1979 officials declared the species extinct in  Britain . Lepidopterologists began reintroducing the large blue from continental Europe nearly 40 years ago. The butterfly has now established populations at several sites across southern England. The campaign to bring the butterflies back to Rodborough Common took five years of planning and included changing the grazing patterns of local  cattle , ensuring the butterflies had plenty of marjoram and wild thyme to lay their eggs in and providing an abundance of delicious red ants. This project also required many human partners, including people at the National Trust, Butterfly Conservation, the Limestone’s Living Legacies Back from the Brink project, Natural England, Royal Entomological Society (RES) and the Minchinhampton and Rodborough Committees of Commoners. As David Simcox, research ecologist and co-author of the commons management plan, explained, cows help the butterflies by creating “keeping the grass down so sunlight can reach the soil which gently warms it creating perfect conditions for the ants.” Simcox continues, saying, “Then, in the summer when the ants are out  foraging , nature performs a very neat trick – the ants are deceived into thinking that the parasitic larva of the large blue is one of their own and carry it to their nest. It’s at this point that the caterpillar turns from herbivore to carnivore, feeding on ant grubs throughout the autumn and spring until it is ready to pupate and emerge the following summer.” Last August, conservation groups released 1,100 larvae on the 867-acre site. The 750 resulting adult  butterflies  demonstrate the program’s success. + National Trust Images via Sarah Meredith and David Simcox

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Rare large blue butterflies reintroduced in Gloucestershire

Fire ants swarm into floating rafts to survive Harvey

August 30, 2017 by  
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People battling flooding and destruction in Texas after Tropical Storm Harvey face yet another hazard: fire ants . Photos on social media show patches of ants floating together through floodwaters – and though this behavior isn’t entirely unheard-of, the insects are said to be naturally aggressive and have caused alarm among locals. Floating rafts of fire ants could pose a new threat to people struggling in the aftermath of Harvey around Houston . Fire ants are native to South America, coming from floodplains near the Paraguay River, so they already know how to handle waters. They form a large raft with their bodies, with ants on the bottom keeping the ones on top dry, and air pockets between the them allow the whole thing to float. Larvae and the queen are kept dry on the very top. Related: 6 ways you can help people affected by Tropical Storm Harvey The ants came to the United States back in the 1930’s, and have also made their way to China, Australia, and Taiwan, where they are described as an invasive species. According to The Guardian, the fire ants are extremely aggressive – they will sometimes attack as a group. They can sting people, and in some cases the sting can lead to a secondary infection. Allergic reactions have even led to death – potentially causing dozens of deaths in America. Louisiana etymologist Linda Bui has also conducted research that suggests fire ants release higher venom doses and become more defensive during floods. Etymologists observed similar raft behavior from fire ants in the wake of Hurricane Katrina . But photos of the ants banding together in Houston have understandably led to panic, such as one dramatic image of a huge swarm in Cuero, southwest of Houston. University of Texas curator of etymology Alex Wild said he’d never seen anything like the swarm in Cuero during his entire career researching ants. Via The Guardian Images via screenshot and Fox Keegan on Twitter / Bill O’Zimmermann on Twitter

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Fire ants swarm into floating rafts to survive Harvey

York Scientists to Fit 1,000 Ants with Radio Receivers to Learn How They Travel and Communicate

August 28, 2012 by  
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Researchers from the University of York are fitting 1,000 northern hairy wood ants with tiny radio receivers in order to learn how they communicate and travel between their complex nests. The three-year research project will take place on the National Trust’s Longshaw Estate in Derbyshire, as it contains more than a 1,000 nests and is home to up to 50 million worker ants . The experiment is a world-first; if only for the large-scale use of the radio receivers alone, which are one millimeter in size. Read the rest of York Scientists to Fit 1,000 Ants with Radio Receivers to Learn How They Travel and Communicate Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ant nests , ants , micro receivers , National Trust , northern hairy wood ants , radio receivers , university of york

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York Scientists to Fit 1,000 Ants with Radio Receivers to Learn How They Travel and Communicate

Hairy Crazy Ants Invade Southern US (Video)

October 4, 2011 by  
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So everybody’s talking about these ants that are actually called ‘Hairy Crazy Ants’ that are turning up in Mississippi, Florida, and other southern states. As their moniker would imply, they look hairier than other ants, at least from a distance, and they do indeed seem pretty lunatic. Watch the video above at about 0:35 to see what I mean. The strangest thing about the ants isn’t their speed or hairiness, however… … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Hairy Crazy Ants Invade Southern US (Video)

PACKAGING THE FUTURE: Inspiration from Ants!

October 1, 2010 by  
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Thus far in our Packaging the Future Series , we’ve looked at how plants ( coconuts ) and animals ( Wombat butts ) can serve as inspiration for planet-friendly packaging .

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PACKAGING THE FUTURE: Inspiration from Ants!

Artist in Residence Studio Made from Shipping Containers

October 1, 2010 by  
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Read the rest of Artist in Residence Studio Made from Shipping Containers http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/ohttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=better_feedptions-general.php?page=better_feed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , art studio , artist in residence , eco design , Green Building , green design , live/work studio , refunc , satellietgroep , shipping container architecture , shipping containers , Sustainable Building , the netherlands

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Artist in Residence Studio Made from Shipping Containers

Gorgeous Green Homes From Turkel & Lindal Cedar Homes

October 1, 2010 by  
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Read the rest of Gorgeous Green Homes From Turkel & Lindal Cedar Homes http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/ohttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=better_feedptions-general.php?page=better_feed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Dwell Homes Collection , eco home , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green home , joel turkel , kit houses , Lindal Cedar Homes , modern prefab home , Prefab Homes , Prefab Housing , sustainable design , sustainable housing , turkel design

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Gorgeous Green Homes From Turkel & Lindal Cedar Homes

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