Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

QM on butterfly blizzard & butterflies

Ashley Clark, ‘Butterfly blizzard’ captured in beach areas, Bundaberg Now, 1 April 2020

While people are being told to self-isolate during the Coronavirus pandemic, the rules don’t seem to apply for the butterfly population with swarms of the insects inundating Queensland.

Coastal areas such as Elliott Heads and Bargara are even a hotspot for the beautiful creatures, with Lemon Migrants and Blue Tigers a common sight.

The phenomenon, often referred to as a “butterfly blizzard” is exactly what Gavin Seymour captured on film after a recent trip to Agnes Water.

“We were just walking along the walkway down by the beach two weeks ago and all of these butterflies started coming out everywhere,” he said.

“I noticed they seemed to be around a particular tree so I gave it a bit of a shake and out they came.”

Gavin quickly got out his phone to film the experience and said he was surprised by just how much noise the insects were making.

“They sounded a bit like bees, just softer,” he said.

“It was amazing to see, particularly at the beach where you don’t expect to come across something like that.”

Why do butterflies migrate?

According to the Queensland Museum, swarms of butterflies often happen when perfect weather conditions, including heat and humidity, align.

“The phenomenon of a ‘butterfly blizzard’ is often short lived, a sudden drop in temperature, rain or cloudy weather and the butterflies become ‘invisible’ again,” the Queensland Museum said.

“Some Australian butterflies species (like the Blue Tiger and Caper White) are well known for population explosions and dispersal flights.

“Although the movement of these butterflies often appears to be co-ordinated and directional, it is not true migration.”

While the butterfly blizzard is ongoing, residents can take part in a new butterfly citizen science project by Butterflies Australia.

By downloading the app, butterfly sightings can be recorded for research purposes.

Click here to find out more.

Related stories: Lemon Migrant butterflies flutter into Bundaberg

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.
.