Yesterday we attended the 5th Annual Day of Insects at Reiman Gardens in Ames, IA. This yearly gathering of bug enthusiasts, researchers and naturalists is one of short topical presentations, long breaks for visiting and a bit of time to enjoy the Butterfly Wing and indoor gardens.
With only a small point and press camera in a pocket and little time to wait for the perfect butterfly, we did not photograph much. These sat still several times. Both are longwings. The one above is probably a Doris Longwing (Heleconius doris). They are long lived for a butterfly so are popular in tropical butterfly exhibits. Longwings are found in Central and South America.
This one is probably a Sara Longwing (Heliconius sara). Longwing butterfly species have many similar wing patterns and colors.
The 15 presentations were as diverse as nature itself. From tiny parasites on wasps to government regulations on agricultural pests, the discovery of an Ozark dragonfly species on a northern Iowa river to changing fire management strategies, citizen scientists monitoring water insects to assess streams to observing the lives and companions of digger bees under a porch, there was much to learn. We also enjoyed the insights and images of several photographers.
The most important concept presented was the idea that climate change is a meta-disturbance. As weather patterns change the disturbances are greater and more complex than often realized. The disturbance becomes a long term environmental influence rather than a passing event.