Light-colored butterflies and dragonflies thriving as European climate warms

Butterflies and dragonflies with lighter colors are out-competing darker-colored insects in the face of climate change. Scientists have shown that as the climate warms across Europe, communities of butterflies and dragonflies consist of more lighter coloured species. Darker coloured species are retreating northwards to cooler areas, but lighter coloured species are also moving their geographical range north as Europe gets warmer.

For example, several Mediterranean dragonfly species have expanded their northern range and immigrated to Germany, such as the Southern Migrant Hawker (Aeshna affinis), the Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) and the Dainty Damselfly (Coenagrion scitulum). In 2010, the Dainty Damselfly was also sighted in England for the first time in over 50 years. Butterfly species that thrive in warm climates, like the Southern Small White (Pieris mannii), have dispersed to Germany during the last ten years and are still continuing their northward shift.



One thought on “Light-colored butterflies and dragonflies thriving as European climate warms

  1. There you go, Climate Change is a good thing. Why just today I read how all that ice melting will expose more bare earth to grow crops and end World Hunger. And with all that ice melting into water, drought will become a thing of the past.

    (On a local butterfly note, the Monarch Butterflies seem to be having trouble not become extinct. Something to do with the disappearing greenery in North America.)

    (And just this past weekend I read about how the BP oil spill has polluted the Gulf so bad, even the evaporating water is polluted. Ya, the very same water that returns as rain in the Midwest. Notice any dead/dying plants or trees this Spring?)

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