AMES, Iowa — The nice fall-like weather Iowa has experienced recently may have helped keep some visitors hanging around flower gardens.
The Painted Lady butterflies are in Iowa by the thousands. Formal butterfly counts at Reiman Gardens last year showed under 20 Painted Ladies on each count; this week, 747 of the butterflies were counted.
“Everything had to work out just right for this to happen. They had a really good spring, which allowed for large numbers of them to actually make the migration north,” said Nathan Brockman, curator of the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing at Reiman Gardens. “We had decent weather this year during the summer season, allowing them to have multiple generations building up their numbers.”
The Painted Ladies can be seen all across Iowa, usually near some blooming flowers.
“The best thing you can do to see painted ladies is go outside, literally that’s it,” said Brockman. “It’s as simple as go outside and find yourself some flowering plants.”
Brockman is an entomologist at Reiman Gardens and loves working with the Reiman Butterfly Wing.
“The Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing is a 2,500 square-foot facility,” said Brockton. “We fly native and tropical butterflies. At any given time we can have up to 800 individuals, and of that 80 different species from all around the world.”
The Painted Ladies can be seen anywhere, but people attending the Cy-Hawk game on Saturday can use their game-day ticket for free admission to the Reiman Gardens. The free admission is only valid on game day.