Presentation on theme: "The Checkerspot butterfly Named the official Maryland State insect in 1973 Their family and subfamily is Nymphalinae Their Eggs are laid in groups of."— Presentation transcript:
The Checkerspot butterfly Named the official Maryland State insect in 1973 Their family and subfamily is Nymphalinae Their Eggs are laid in groups of 100-700 There is one generation a year of the Checkerspot butterfly and they usually fly between early June and early July. Named after the first Lord Baltimore! Live from 6-10 months Are poisonous.
The lifecycle of a checkerspot butterfly starts 10 days after they are laid. They hatch as larvae from eggs. As the larvae grow for about three more weeks, they shed their skin about three times. The larvae are in a period of dormancy for the summer months, hiding in dark places such as in cracks in soil. One of the primary food sources, the dwarf plantain starts to grow in the next rainy season. The larvae resume development and continue eating. The larvae enter the pupa stage and create a chrysalis once they are fully grown. They appear again as butterflies in march or early April. The checkerspot butterflies then drink on nectar, mate, and lay eggs. Females can have up to five masses of eggs of up to 250 eggs. They have their eggs in their host plant, a white turtlehead, and after that the whole cycle starts over again.
Their wing span ranges from 1 ¾ inches to 2 ¾ inches (4.5-7 cm.) The upper side of their wings is black with orange-red crescents and rows of creamy white spots inside. This is warning coloring. It has short hairy forelegs that show that this butterfly is an insect in the Nymphalidae family (Brush-footed Butterflies).
What does this butterfly eat? White Turtlehead Hairy beardtongue English plantain False foxglove Arrowwood Common Lousewort Japanese honeysuckle White Ash = Host Plant
Blue bird Wasps Cotton tail rabbit Deer Checkerspot butterfly Baltimore oriel White Turtle Head Hairy Beardtongue English Plantain Main plants, there are more. Check food slide.
They have competition for the White Turtlehead, such as the cottontail rabbit, deer, and Baltimore Oriel. Their predators are wasps, and birds.
The population of these butterflies has been slowly decreasing since the 1980s. It was recorded to be in 15 Maryland counties but now only five. Theories for the declination of the Checkerspot Butterfly: Over-consumption of the butterflys main food source, the White Turtlehead plant The Global Warming Action Alliance, a group that tells people about climate change, say that warmer temperatures have forced about 80% of all Baltimore Checkerspot Butterflies northward up to 50 miles in the last 25 years. As the species migrates northward, the plants that are dependent on it will not come with them. This takes away the home, family and nutrition of the butterfly.
Our suggested habitat for this butterfly is the Little Bennet Regional Park. This is because it has a stream and is has many meadows/ clearings, the two things that are required in a Checkerspot Butterflys habitat. This park is 3,700 acres, but we would only use a small portion of the park and make it accessible for people to go an see these magnificent butterflies. The Checkerspot Butterflies are not bothered by people because they are poisonous, so they are not afraid of potential predators. Teens would be able to earn SSL hours by helping set up the area and helping care for the butterflies. There would be a small, low fence around the area so big predators couldnt get in but the butterflies could fly out. Checkerspot butterflies prefer to be outside. We are also planting many of the butterflys food sources, such as White Turtlehead, Hairy beardtongue, Japanese honeysuckle, etc. Also, we would build a man-made pond in the area, and there would be dirt paths leading to different places. We would make sure the conservational area looked nice but wasnt over developed.
We predict that the Checkerspot butterflies impact on Little Bennet Regional Park will be small because we will introduce the butterfly into a closed in habitat and would keep competition in the habitat to make sure the butterflies wouldnt overpopulate. This plan will help the butterflies because we will plant plenty of White Turtle Head, their host plant, so they wouldnt have to go far to find it. This area is a bit swampy and meadow – like, so the temperature is perfect for these butterflies. Also, the fenced in area will only be a small potion of Little Bennet Regional Park, so many of the plants and animals wouldnt be impacted anyway.
Abiotic Factors- Benches, Dirt pathways, Water, damp/ warmish climate, and Sunlight Biotic Factors- Trees, Grass, White Turtlehead, Hairy beardtongue, English plantain, False foxglove, Arrowwood, Common Lousewort, Japanese honeysuckle, White Ash, Deer, Cottontail Rabbit, Baltimore Oriels, Shrubs, Bushes, and the Checkerspot butterflies.
The worst case scenario that could happen from introducing the Checkerspot butterfly to Little Bennet Regional park is one of two things. The first one is that if the fence works, the Checkerspot butterfly could over-populate and the other things that eat white Turtle head and the other plants would start to die off. Another thing that could happen would be that the Checkerspot butterflies could be beat out by their competition and wouldnt survive. Still, we would introduce competition to keep a healthy balance between the two.