Prairie flowers are being planted across central Iowa in hopes of luring a rare butterfly back to the state. The winged creature called the regal fritillary started disappearing from the Hawkeye State when the prairies were plowed over for development.Diane Debinski is a professor of animal ecology at Iowa State University and is leading an effort to increase the regal’s population. (As said above) The butterfly, in caterpillar stage, only eats one plant called the prairie violet, which is now a rare plant. They’re planting 2,000 of the violets and hope to bring female butterflies in to lay eggs on the flowers.Debinski says the colorful and large regal butterfly somewhat resembles the popular monarch butterfly, with a few key differences.The regal fritillary is not considered endangered but Debinski say it is rare.
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