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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Butterflies in ultra-cold area

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Question
Hello!!

Our teacher once told us a sort of butterfly that lives in Tibetan Plateau. On the outside, the color of this butterfly is white, and it is also a bit furry and hairy on the outside. But the inner part of this butterfly is black. My teacher said that this appearance can help the butterfly preserve warmness. When living in areas like Tibetan Plateau, you need all the warmness that you can get. This teacher is not there anymore. I can not ask him more question. And i try to find this sort of butterfly on the internet, but without some more correct keywords and names, i can not find it.

Do you know what kind of butterfly this may be? Thank you.

Johnnie.

Answer
Dear Johnnie - I do not believe that you have sufficient information to track down a particular species. That aside, the combination of a hairy body and a black/dark cuticle would appear to be a fairly good strategy for solar heat absorption and retention. See http://tinyurl.com/pvg9rxt for details on cold-adaptation strategies among insects in general.
Hope this helps,
SAugy

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad

Expertise

Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.

Experience

21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Organizations
Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

Publications
American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

Education/Credentials
B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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