Bigger butterflies may cope better with climate change

A monarch butterfly on the shores of Lake Superior in Minnesota

Chris Frost/Shutterstock

Butterfly species with larger wingspans have expanded their range in high-latitude parts of North America as the climate has warmed, while smaller butterflies and those adapted to cold conditions have tended to decline.

Vaughn Shirey at Georgetown University in Washington DC and his colleagues built a computational model to analyse data on the presence of 90 butterfly species above 45°N in North America from 1970 to 2019.

The team analysed how shifting monthly minimum temperatures over the past 50 …

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