While climate change has been a concern for many, and seems to be the reason for the decline in the numbers of many endangered species; light-colored butterflies and dragonflies apparently have no trouble adjusting to it.
At least that’s what a new study published in the journal Nature Communications has to say. The researchers have found that as the climate warms across Europe, the butterflies and dragonflies found there are more light-colored. Darker colored species of butterflies seem to be migrating to cooler areas.
It was also found that these light-colored butterflies were also moving their geographical range north as Europe got warmer.
This shift of habitat has been occurring over the past 10 years, and is continuing now that the climate is inclining more towards the warmer side.
It has been speculated that the reason behind this ‘adjustment’ to warmer climates is the fact that an insect’s color determines the amount of energy it absorbs from the sun, which in turn, influences the body temperature. This is why darker insects absorb more of the sun’s heat as compared to their lighter counterparts.
This is why, light-colored butterflies and other insects fare better despite the climate change.
“We now know that lighter-colored butterflies and dragonflies are doing better in a warmer world, and we have also demonstrated that the effects of climate change on where species live are not something of the future, but that nature and its ecosystems are changing as we speak,” Professor Rahbek, who is also Director of the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen, concluded.