Friday, July 23, 2010

Not a marine worm

Last week, down in Owhiro Bay, in Tawatawa Reserve at the southern end of the Green Belt:Milkweed species were introduced to New Zealand -- and indeed across Oceania -- soon after European traders started trading. The theory goes that milkweed-seed kapok was used in sleeping-bags and as packing for delicate freight.

It would be nice to think that there have always been Monarch butterflies arriving sporadically in Hawaii, borne by storms, fluttering valiantly for several days and nights across the ocean until the winds finally subsided and deposited one or two in a place that wasn't wet... and as soon as there were milkweeds waiting such as the caterpillars could eat, a population of Monarchs acclimatised, ready for some to be blown across to another island in the next storm. Lamentably, the people who study Monarchs reckon that though they are strong fliers, they are not that strong... so eggs were more likely introduced along with the milkweed-kapok packaging. I hope I am not disillusioning anyone.

Once a butterfly population was established in New Zealand, they lost the habit of migrating for thousands of miles north and south every year, on account of nowhere to migrate to, and also not needing to. In Wellington, most die at the end of Summer but a few winter over in the shelter of the Green Belt, venturing out in fine days to fuel up on nectar.

That's what we're like here. We're lazy bastards.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That's what we're like here. We're lazy bastards.

LUCKY! Just lying around all day, with yer Rogue Ales and such as.

Jennifer said...

Illusion killer! What next??

J— said...

Rename the area Pacific Grove, open a travel agency, and rake in the big bucks.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

The real question is, do you have any Batesian mimics?

Smut Clyde said...

do you have any Batesian mimics?

Street mimes in all their forms are hunted down mercilessly.

Willy said...

Street mimes in all their forms are hunted down mercilessly.

That alone is incentive to emigrate.

merc said...

This comment has been mimed incognito to avoid the fashionista anti-mime pedants.