Here’s a great new tool to help protect butterflies in your area

By Kurt Snibbe | The Press-Enterprise |

THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE - A look at our local Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species and share some tips on how to protect them.

New conservation tool
One of the ways you could help butterflies and moths in your local area is by creating a space with plants they are attracted to. Chris Cosma, a recent Ph.D. graduate from UC Riverside and now at the Conservation Biology Institute, created an online tool that lets you enter your ZIP code (or address) and the Butterfly Net shows the best native plant species to use in your area. The site works for all of California and ranks the value as host and nectar plants for local butterflies and moths. Some plants can attract dozens of insect species.

Check it out:

When it comes to creating plantscapes that help, another UC Riverside entomologist, Erin Wilson Rankin said, “In garden settings, a diversity of sages (we like to use a mix of black sage, hummingbird sage and Sonoma sage) and mallows (chaparral mallow, desert mallow, and Indian mallow). California buckwheat is a pollinator crowd pleaser, as is encelia. For trees/shrubs, lemonadeberry and sugarbush are great nectar plants.”

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