Butterfly's Migratory Flight is Longest Ever Recorded in Butterflies

Previously known to migrate from Europe to the Afrotropics during the autumn, the fate of this butterfly species and its offspring remained unknown. A British Ecological Society funded study found that painted lady butterflies return from the Afrotropical region to recolonize in the Mediterranean in early spring, traveling an annual distance of 12,000 km across the Sahara Desert.

While the Palearctic-African migratory circuit is typically associated with birds, scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, a joint research center of the Spanish National Research Council and Pompeu Fabra University, in Barcelona, Spain, found that a butterfly species, the Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), endures annual trans-Saharan circuits like some birds do. Read more.