Blanca Huertas

Dr Blanca Huertas is Senior Curator of Lepidoptera at the Natural History Museum in London, UK, working actively in Taxonomy, Systematics and Conservation of Lepidoptera in various international initiatives. She has worked as coordinator for the Tropical Andean Butterfly Project (Darwin Initiative) and is a member of the IUCN Butterfly Specialist group and the North American Butterflies Association Scientific Names Committee (NABA).

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Longest journey by a butterfly

A tagged male monarch (Danaus plexippus), released by Donald A Davis (Canada) at Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Brighton, Ontario, Canada, on 10 September 1988 was recaptured on 8 April 1989 in Austin, Texas, USA. It is assumed that this butterfly spent the winter in Mexico as it would not have been able to survive freezing winter temperatures in Texas. Hence, this butterfly travelled at least 4,635 kilometres (2,880 miles) – a distance obtained by measuring a line from the release site to the overwintering sites and back north again to Austin, Texas, USA. However, the actual distance travelled could be double this figure.