HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Radar tracking reveals that butterflies follow decisive flight paths

The charming meanderings of butterflies are not as random as they appear, according to new research1. Scientists at Rothamsted Research,2 a research institute sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in Hertfordshire, have found that their seemingly irresolute flutterings are in fact decisive flight paths. The harmonic radar has been used before to track the flights of bumblebees and honeybees. Now it has been shown to work for butterflies too, opening a new window on the flight behaviour of these important pollinating species.

BBSRC-funded researcher Lizzie Cant has attached tiny radar transponders, weighing only about 12mg (4-8% of body weight), to peacock or small tortoiseshell butterflies. This allows her to use harmonic radar to track the butterfly's position accurately up to 1km away. Previous studies had to use visual observation (difficult over 50m) or indirect mark-recapture techniques.

Butterflies were tracked undertaking fast, directed flights to potential feeding sites or interspersing periods of foraging with looping "orientation" flights. Knowing how butterflies navigate can help us understand how capable they are of maintaining sustainable populations in our increasingly fragmented countryside.

Lizzie Cant said, "Butterflies are important pollinators, providing a crucial service to plants in many ecosystems. This research will help us to understand a little more about how they survive in a countryside that is becoming more and more fragmented."


'"/>

Contact: Matt Goode
matt.goode@bbsrc.ac.uk
44-179-341-3299
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
5-Apr-2005


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Radar altimetry revolutionises the study of the ocean
2. Satellite tracking reveals threats to Borneo pygmy elephants
3. Satellite tracking will help answer questions about penguin travels
4. Salmon tracking program expands to California
5. New titles focus on food safety: Fresh produce and tracking contamination
6. How satellite tracking revealed the migratory mysteries of endangered Atlantic loggerhead turtles
7. Elsevier launches Inteleos drug tracking and analysis tool
8. Researchers convinced satellites are helpful in tracking epidemics
9. UQ researcher tracking key to healing the brain
10. LSU scientists develop new theory about human genome evolution by tracking stealth DNA elements
11. FSU meteorologists work may lead to better tracking of hurricanes

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/22/2016)... BETHESDA, Md. , June 22, 2016  The American ... by Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of ... Summit on May 25-27 at the Bellagio in ... based on the highest percentage of growth in each of ... number of exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security ... solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request for ... (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add biometrics to ... United States , in order to deter visa ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced ... it has secured the final acceptance by all ... Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will ... be installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita ... miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of ... now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, and ... to track the criminal down. An outbreak of ... Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a ... of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... --  EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, today ... from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will allow ... drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional lab ... been an incredible strategic partner to us – one ... provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , EpiBiome,s ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, ... community, has closed its Series A funding round, according ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund ... to meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez ... to complete validation on the current projects in our ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: