F for Fritillary (F number 2)
Well, I forgot that Sunday was a day off – and put up ‘F’ on Saturday night. So here is ‘F’ number 2 – Fritillary, an exquisite butterfly.
This beautiful photograph of a Gulf fritillary is by Ralph Daily on Flikr.
have butterfly fragilities,
they flit and flutter by with ease
among the flowers and the trees,
stop using that weedkiller please,
or cease to see fritillaries.
Gulf fritillary butterflies are also called Passion butterflies.
Butterflies are not as efficient at pollinating crops as bees, but they play their part.
Butterflies in general are affected by weedkillers such as Roundup – not only do they affect the butterfly themselves, they kill their food plants.
On February 14, 2014, the NRDC in the USA called on the EPA to examine the use of Glysophate, recognising its use was decimating the population of monarch butterflies. I cannot find any info as to whether this worked, or whether the first steps are being taken to limit or ban its use.
In the EU, similar lobbying in April 2013 led to a ban on neonicotinoid chemicals, that are blamed for the loss of bee populations from various causes including the Verroa mite.
It is difficult to overestimate how important crop fertilisers like butterflies and bees are – without them, we starve! It would be impossible to hand fertilise even one field of crops. Much easier to hand remove, or remove by mechanical means, weeds.