You might have noticed a lot of orange butterflies flying around lately. Along certain streets in Chino Hills, residents would be able to see hundreds upon hundreds of orange butterflies flying around. If you have witnessed such a beautiful phenomenon, you have witnessed the painted lady butterfly’s mass migration.
The painted lady butterfly is migrating north from the U.S.-Mexico border in large populations, estimated to be in the millions. Scientifically known as the Vanessa Cardui, it is not to be mistaken for Monarch butterflies. The apparent cause for their mass migration is because they have “a higher reproductive potential in California”, according to Arthur Shapiro, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of California, Davis.
This is further proved by this year’s desert super blooms, as there is more vegetation for them to consume with more rain. This coincides with past migrations that the painted ladies have done before. According to Mr. Shapiro, the last big migration was in 2005, one of the wettest years for California deserts. It looks like the painted lady butterflies have finally found their way here in our very own Chino Hills. If you haven’t already had the chance, keep an eye out whenever you are outside. You just might see hundreds of butterflies flying, as they continue their migration.
Alex Ro, Chino Hills