The Study Has Discovered that Butterflies Are Disappearing in Ohio

The Study Has Discovered that Butterflies Are Disappearing in Ohio

Researchers have realized a study which indicates butterflies are disappearing in Ohio. The study was published on Tuesday in PLOS ONE. Scientists found an average population decline of 2 percent per year, which means that over the course of the study, Ohio lost more than a third of its butterfly population.

Butterflies are insects in the macrolepidopteran clade Rhopalocera from the order Lepidoptera, which also includes moths. Adult butterflies have large, often brightly colored wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. The group includes the large superfamily Papilionoidea, which contains at least one former group, the skippers, and the most recent analyses suggest it also contains the moth-butterflies. Butterfly fossils date to the Paleocene, which was about 56 million years ago.

“Not everything is going to decline in exactly the same way,” said Corrie Moreau, an entomologist and evolutionary biologist from Cornell University who was not involved in the new research. “But we are seeing, in this study and others, that insects are in a rapid fall.”

 “We have had a gazillion anecdotes, but few very rigorously collected data sets,” said Arthur Shapiro, an evolutionary ecologist and biogeographer from the University of California, Davis, who has been monitoring butterfly populations in California for half a century.

“That means every such data set is exceedingly welcome and exceedingly valuable,” said Shapiro, who was not involved in the new study.

According to “Across the state of Ohio, thousands of volunteer scientists have been hiking familiar trails for more than 20 years with a specific task. As they walk their chosen trail each week from April to October, they identify and count every butterfly they can see within a certain distance of their path”.

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