Location: meadow, upstate NY, surrounded by old secondary growth deciduous forest. Entire meadow approximately 1.5 sq.km.; meadow corner about 1 hectare.
15 June 2022, 1pm. 29C, winds NW 4kph; 100% cloud cover, storm coming. Numerous male Speyeria cybele, all near perfect indicating recent eclosion. Most flying low through the grasses, I assume looking for females (which aren't there.) Occasional fights. Most cybele are in a tiny 1 hectare (or less) corner of the meadow.
16 June 2022, 1pm. 34C, winds NW 14kph; 70% cloud cover, storm coming. Where are the cybele that were here yesterday? Initial survey found zero in the corner where they were so common yesterday. I loop of the entire meadow revealed no cybele until nearing a treeline about 150m from the previously mentioned corner. More time in "the corner" revealed ~6 cybele flying only very close to the forest edge, rarely venturing into the meadow.
Odd how one day an area is flush with a species, and the next not. Did they eclose and disperse?
Of course field observations are much harder to document with consistency and it takes many years of steadfast dedication to realize a pattern in just ONE insects life.
It took a fair number of years for example to crack and understand the migratory habits of the monarch butterfly; including the wax and wane of its population in its roosting spots in Mexico.
We also only know as much as we do about the pest species of insects which affect our crops through dedicated long-term research of those pest species. Of course that is more important to us because it affects we humans as a community.
I'm sure there's a host of other curious observations like this made by other field workers which have either been never noted on paper or pursued to a logical conclusion.
Not many people have that sort of an abundance of time on their hands....
Thank you Chuck for bringing it up here on the forum !
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