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Nebraska sees spike in butterfly population

Sep 11, 2017

  OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Several Nebraska cities are seeing an abundance of butterflies.

Nebraska Extension, a branch of the University of Nebraska, received reports last week of at least 100 painted lady butterflies in some Omaha flower gardens. The gardens usually draw only a few dozen.

Extension entomologist Jody Green says painted ladies' migrations could be 9,000 miles spanning six generations. She says the butterflies found in cities like Omaha and Lincoln may be migrating, or getting ready to lay eggs for the next cycle.

Iowa State University entomologist Royce Bitzer attributes the butterfly boom to the ample rains earlier this year in California, where painted ladies start their migration. The rain resulted in more flowering plants for nectar, which boosted the butterfly population.

Green says the butterflies won't damage plants or harm humans.

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