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Photo: Luc Viato via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Luc Viato via Wikimedia Commons

Red Admiral butterflies cover North Country

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Over the last several days, much of the North Country has been virtually blanketed with small orangey-red butterflies.

They look like monarchs, but they're not. They're a species called Red Admirals, or Vanessa Atalanta. Red Admirals are native to this area, and some will settle here for the summer. Their caterpillars eat nettles so they're not a danger to crops. But we don't usually see this many, and they don't usually pass through this early in the year.

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Reported by

Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

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Nora Flaherty spoke with butterfly researcher Elizabeth Howard. She’s the director of the “Journey North” project, which tracks butterfly migrations through a network of citizen reporters. Howard said the early appearance of the Red Admirals, and their huge numbers, can be explained by this spring’s record-setting high temperatures.

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