Weather conditions ripe for butterfly boom
Butterflies everywhere--in the sky, on trees--even on social media. But, why though?
Turns out, native butterflies had one heck of a baby-making bash.
University of Guam's Dr. G. Curt Fiedler studies insects explains the phenomenon.
"We have a perfect storm of conditions where we had a very dry spring and early summer and we had a lot of rain and now we have conditions that are ideal for their reproduction," he said.
The Euploea Eunice, commonly known as the blue-banded king crow is a native species, according to Dr. Fiedler.
He says there are other factors contributing to the abundance of butterflies
"We also don't have many birds now because of the brown tree snake so the lack of birds also means less predators on these butterflies - that's probably another reason why there's so many of them," Fiedler said.
The caterpillars that eventually become the butterflies feed on the taotaomona tree or ficus tree. Their chrysalis is golden and shiny, and if you approach any tronkon nunu, you can see them hanging off the trees like Christmas ornaments.
Dan Franquez tells KUAM News he was amazed by the beauty of the butterflies.
"I came out to make my rounds and when I saw them hanging off the vines, I just thought they were really cool and there was quite a lot of it, I just thought it was really nice," he said.
Dr. Fiedler says you can find more butterflies in coastal areas, but viewer-submitted videos show the butterflies are literally everywhere - even flying over busy traffic on marine corps drive. But if you want to snap some butterfly selfies for the 'gram - you better do it soon
"Probably their numbers will go down in a few weeks, and you won't notice them anymore," he said.