Deaths-head Jester

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Posted Thu Sep 3 2009: from Press of Atlantic City:
Aficionados miss butterfly's effects
This scene is a far cry from spring and early June, when Sutton, a retired naturalist, literally saw no butterflies. It was the first time Sutton had seen such a scarcity in her 30 years of butterfly watching, and they did not return in large numbers to her garden until early August. Sutton observed a similar shortage in parts of Cumberland County in late June... "It was spooky," she said during a recent garden tour. "We should have been seeing a lot more of them, and there was one of this, one of that."... "I don't think we've ever seen anything like the response we've gotten this year, unsolicited, about the dearth of butterflies," Glassberg said. "It's pretty clear (the loss) is real."... The heavy mosquito boom this year prompted government officials and homeowners to spray malathion to kill adult insects. Sutton and fellow survey volunteer Jackie Parker, of Beachwood, Ocean County, fear the pesticide could have harmed butterflies.
[Read more stories about: canary in coal mine, massive die-off, ecosystem interrelationships]

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'Doc Michael says:
When a butterfly doesn't flap its wings, is the world also changed?
Might be that the decline of northeastern bats has boosted mosquitoes leading to increased pesticide use leading to declines in beneficial insects. Hmmm...

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