Duration: 1st April – 30th June 2021
Number of books: 11
Hosted by: Crazy Challenge Connection
A FLUTTER OF BUTTERFLIES
Butterflies conjure up images of sunshine, the warmth and color of flowery meadows, and gardens teeming with life. From small cabbage whites (above) to the largest swallowtails, there are thousands of unique and beloved butterfly species on the planet. Known for their beautiful colors and unique patterns, they come in a large variety of shapes and sizes, but how much do we really know about these colorful insects? This challenge should help fill in some of those gaps 🙂
CHALLENGE RULES :
See this thread for more detailed rules for all CCC challenges.
PLEASE NOTE : When we ask for an item shown prominently on the cover, we should be able to see the item in the thumbnail, without having to click through to the book’s page.
♦ If you want to participate in this challenge, please sign up by posting at least a partial list of the challenge requirements. This gives us a post to link you to, which you can use to update your books as the challenge progresses.
♦ Unless otherwise noted, books must be at least 150 pages long. (See the link above for rules regarding graphic novels. Please remember that ONLY graphic novels can be combined.) Books may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged 🙂 Re-reads are allowed, as long as you read the entire book. You must read at least half of the book AFTER the challenge begins in order to count it for CCC challenges. If you listen to an audiobook, please be sure that the link you post indicates a page count for the book, even if that means linking to an edition different from the one you listened to.
♦ If you use books that are in a language other than English, please translate those titles into English (even if there is no English title here on GR) for the purposes of our challenges, unless you plan to use that language for the entire challenge. If you do use another language for the whole challenge, please remember that the translations of exempt words/phrases — for example, A, An and The — would be exempt as well.
♦ For each book you read, please post a link to the title, and indicate the author and the date you finished reading it. If a challenge task gives several options, please make it clear which option you’ve chosen. If the task calls for an item on the cover or specific author initials or name/s, you must include a link to the book cover and/or author’s name, respectively. To avoid spoiling a book for other readers, please use spoiler tags when explaining your book choices.*
* For help with posting spoiler tags, see this post: Spoiler tags
* If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions here: Add a link to the book title, book cover and/or author
♦ When you complete the challenge, please copy and paste your entire list as a new message at the end of the challenge thread. If you do this while you still have the Edit window open, it will copy all of your links and formatting. If you don’t repost your list, with appropriate links, your name will not be added to the list of those who have completed the challenge. Please do NOT simply post a link back to your original post.
THE TASKS :
1. There are about 17,500 species of butterflies in the world, and around 750 species in the United States. They have been around for at least 50 million years and probably first evolved some 150 million years ago. Representations of butterflies are seen in Egyptian frescoes at Thebes, which are 3,500 years old.
a book set before the year 1000; tell us when OR a book whose title begins with a letter in EGYPTIAN (disregard A, An and The) – Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam
2. A group of butterflies is known as a flutter. It is commonly believed that the word butterfly is a derived from butter-colored fly, which is attributed to the yellow of the male Brimstone butterfly (above). Due to their bright colors and visits to flowers, butterflies are the most familiar of insects to humans. They can be found all over the world, except in Antarctica.
🦋 Read a book with a cover that is almost entirely yellow; post the cover
OR a book that has been translated into at least three languages other than the original; tell us the languages – Harmony’s Way by Lora Leigh
3. Butterflies (and moths) are part of the class of insects in the order Lepidoptera. To tell them apart, butterflies fly in bright sunshine, while moths are most active at night.
🦋 Read a book where the first letter of every word in the title (ALL words count!) can be found in LEPIDOPTERA (3-word minimum; a letter can only be used as many times as it appears in the word) OR a book with a bright sunny scene shown prominently on the cover; post the cover
4. Butterflies and moths are the only group of insects that have scales covering their wings. Like all insects, they have six jointed legs and three body parts: the head, the thorax and the abdomen. The wings are attached to the thorax and they also have a pair of antennae, compound eyes and an exoskeleton – the skeleton is on the outside of the body. This protects the insect and keeps water inside their bodies so they don’t dry out. Unlike other insects, though, they have the ability to coil up their proboscis. Until butterfly ears were identified in 2012, scientists thought butterflies were completely deaf.
🦋 Read a book originally published in 2012; tell us the pub date OR a book with a character who is deaf; tell us who
5. Butterflies can vary greatly in size, from the Western Blue Pygmy (left) which is only about 1/2 inch across, to the female Queen Alexandrea’s birdwing(center), with a wingspan of nearly 10 inches. Some butterfly species are very fast; one, the Skipper Butterfly (right), can fly faster than a horse can run.
🦋 Read a book with natural wings (NOT airplane wings!) shown prominently on the cover; post the cover
OR the shortest book on your to-read list that is over 150 pages long; tell us how many pages – Angels’ Flight by Nalini Singh
6. The butterfly starts its life as an egg, laid on a leaf. The caterpillar (larva) hatches from the egg and eats the leaves or flowers on which the egg is laid. Caterpillars are usually very distinctive, and are sometimes more easily identified than the adult butterflies. The caterpillar eats voraciously to transform plant material into tissues that they will need for metamorphosis. It loses its skin as many as four times as it grows, increasing greatly in size. Eventually it turns into a pupa or chrysalis (cocoon). The caterpillar will spend multiple days, or weeks, inside the cocoon.
🦋 Read a book with a major character who eats a lot; tell us who OR a book with a predominantly green cover; post the cover
7. Inside the chrysalis, a developing butterfly waits to emerge with its wings collapsed around its body. When it finally breaks free of the pupal case, it greets the world with tiny, shriveled wings. The butterfly must immediately pump body fluid through its wing veins to expand them. Once its wings reach their full size, the butterfly must rest for a few hours to allow its body to dry and harden before it can take its first flight.
🦋 Read a book in which a birth occurs; tell us the page/location number OR a book originally published less than six months before you finished it; tell us when it was published – The Switch by Beth O’Leary (January 2021)
8. Butterflies can be very picky about where they lay their eggs to the point of laying said eggs in one type of plant. The first thing a caterpillar eats after it hatches from its cocoon is usually the shell of the cocoon itself. In some places, you can find so many caterpillars feeding on plants that you can actually hear them munching.
🦋 Read a book with an action verb ending in ING in the title OR a book with a character who is very picky about something; using spoiler tags, tell us who and what they’re picky about
9. An adult butterfly generally has a very short life: just three to four weeks. However, the entire life cycle of a butterfly can range between 2 and 8 months, depending on the species. Some migratory butterflies, such as the North American Monarch, can live as long as 7 to 8 months in one generation. The Brimstone butterfly has the longest lifetime of the adult butterflies: 9-10 months. During that time, it focuses all its energy on two tasks: eating and mating.
🦋 Read a book with at least two generations of the same family in the story; tell us who and their relationship
OR the book most recently added to your to-read list (or the most recent add that you can get your hands on); tell us when you added it – Love Hard by Nalini Singh (Esme, Jacob and Alison; three generations)
10. While most butterflies only eat nectar, some also eat some pollen, tree sap, or rotting fruit, especially in tropical locations. However, a butterfly cannot live on sugar alone; it needs minerals, too. To supplement its diet of nectar, a butterfly will sometimes sip from mud puddles, which are rich in minerals and salts. This behavior, called puddling, occurs more often in male butterflies, which incorporate the minerals into their sperm. These nutrients are then transferred to the female during mating and help improve the viability of her eggs. A group of butterflies puddling together is sometimes referred to as a “puddle club.”
a book with a drink/beverage shown prominently on the cover; post the cover OR a book from a genre that is outside of your comfort zone; tell us the genre – Anna: A Teenager on the Run by Anna Podgajecki (war memoir)
11. Butterflies have taste receptors on their feet to help them find their host plants and locate food. A female butterfly lands on different plants, drumming the leaves with her feet until the plant releases its juices. Spines on the back of her legs have chemoreceptors that detect the right match of plant chemicals. When she identifies the right plant, she lays her eggs. A butterfly of any biological sex will also step on its food, using organs that sense dissolved sugars to taste food sources like fermenting fruit.
🦋 Read a book in which a major character is looking for something specific; using spoiler tags, tell us who is looking for what
OR a book with bare feet shown prominently on the cover; post the cover – Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie
12. Butterflies need heat to be able to move. When you see them resting in the sunshine, they are warming up their wings so they can fly. They cannot fly if the air temperature falls below 55° Fahrenheit. Since they are cold blooded animals, they cannot regulate their body temperature, which renders them completely immobile in cold weather, unable to feed or to flee from predators. When air temperatures range from 82-100°F., though, they can fly with ease.
a book whose page total contains only numbers found in 1, 2, 5, 5, 8, 0, 0 (you can use 500, or 255, but not 588); tell us how many pages OR a book set in a location that is known for being cold most of the time; tell us the location – Oklahoma Christmas Blues by Maggie Shayne (Oklahoma)
13. Butterflies rank pretty low on the food chain, with lots of hungry predators – wasps, flies, frogs, spiders and birds, for example – happy to make a meal of them. Therefore, they need some defense mechanisms. Some butterflies fold their wings to blend into the background, using camouflage to make themselves all but invisible to predators. Others try the opposite strategy, wearing vibrant colors and patterns that boldly announce their presence. Bright colored insects often pack a toxic punch if eaten, so predators learn to avoid them.
🦋 Read a book in which the main character must avoid a predator of some sort; using spoiler tags, briefly explain OR a book with a bird shown prominently on the cover; post the cover
14. Although they are not the only ones to migrate, butterfly migration is best exemplified by the Monarch, which is the only insect that migrates an average of 2500 miles to warmer climates in Mexico and California. This trip is so long that one butterfly will not be able to complete the whole journey during its lifetime. It takes multiple generations of butterflies to get to the end of the migration. The North American Monarch is one of the species that has been the most severely impacted by recent climate changes, with their numbers seeing dips and spikes over the last few years.
🦋 Read a book set in Mexico or California; tell us where OR a book with a monarch (king, queen or emperor; real or fictional) in the story; tell us who
15. Four butterflies became extinct over the last 150 years. Butterflies (and moths) have been recognized as indicators of biodiversity. Their fragility makes them quick to react to change so their struggle to survive is a serious warning about our environment. Habitats have been destroyed on a massive scale, and now patterns of climate and weather are shifting unpredictably in response to pollution of the atmosphere.
🦋 Read a book whose primary focus is some type of environmental issue; tell us what OR a book by an author who has died; tell us the date/year of their passing
16. In addition, a number of various butterfly species are critically endangered because their natural habitats are being destroyed by human activity. All of the butterflies below are rare because they only live in one specific area.
A. MACEDONIAN GRAYLING | Current estimated numbers : about 3000
This rare European butterfly is only found in the village of Pletvar in Macedonia, which has become vulnerable because of quarrying in the area.
B. SINAI BATON BLUE | Current estimated numbers: about 2300
This is not only one of the rarest butterflies in the world, it is also believed to be the world’s smallest. It is native to one area in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
C. SCHAUS SWALLOWTAIL | Current estimated numbers: 800–1200
Once considered the rarest butterfly in Florida, with numbers dipping to just a few hundred, the wild population of these butterflies has recovered, thanks in large part to a captive breeding program, after which the scientists released 50 adult butterflies and 200 caterpillars back into the wild.
D. LANGE’S METALMARK | Current estimated numbers: fewer than 450
Found only in the Antioch Sand Dunes in California, this species is dying off because the butterflies will only lay eggs on one specific type of buckwheat. Without that plant, females flutter around and land on other plants – but they won’t lay eggs.
E. ISLAND MARBLE | Current estimated numbers: fewer than 200
This butterfly had not been seen for over 100 years and was declared extinct before being rediscovered in 1998 on San Juan Island, off the coast of Washington state. Although scientists have worked hard to help the population of Island Marbles grow, its numbers have continued to drop.
F. MIAMI BLUE | Current estimated numbers: fewer than 100
In the past, this was quite common and found along the coastal mainland of Florida. Today, its numbers have dwindled significantly and its range has also shrunk to just the Florida Keys. The butterflies’ numbers first took a major hit in the 1980s when Florida’s coastal development took off. Then in 1992, the Miami Blue was nearly wiped out completely by Hurricane Andrew.
🦋 Choose one of these rare butterflies. Read a book by an author whose first and last initials can be found in the butterfly’s name AND with a total page count that includes TWO of the numbers in the current estimated numbers posted above; post a link to the author’s GR page AND tell us how many pages – Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh (324 pp.) (Sinai Baton Blue, 2300)
17. Butterflies will visit any garden, however small, if they can feed on suitable nectar plants. Nectar provides butterflies and moths with energy to fly and find a mate. In spring, it helps butterflies refuel after winter hibernation or a grueling journey. In autumn, nectar helps butterflies and moths to build up their energy reserves so they have the best chance of surviving hibernation or the journey back to warmer climes.
To attract butterflies to your yard or garden :
* They like warmth, so choose sunny, sheltered spots when planting.
* Choose different plants to attract a wider variety of species.
* Place the same types of plant together in blocks.
* Try to provide flowers right through the butterfly season. Spring flowers are vital for butterflies coming out of hibernation and autumn flowers help butterflies build up their reserves for winter.
* Don’t use insecticides and pesticides – they kill butterflies and many pollinating insects as well as ladybirds, ground beetles and spiders.
🦋 Read a book with a flower garden shown or a field of wildflowers prominently on the cover; post the cover OR a book set in the spring; tell us when