Insect Discoveries, Delightful and DisturbingBy MARIELLE ANZELONE “What was that?” I wonder as something flutters past me at the edge of Corson’s Brook Woods on Staten Island. I look up and see the sky alive with dozens of rapidly beating wings. These red admiral butterflies appear suddenly, magically, slipping in and out of the trees. Two engage in a chase, twirling and tumbling in the air. Another sips nectar from a Virginia waterleaf blossom.
One favored perch here is a black cherry along the sunny forest border. Toward the tree’s branch tips are plumes of white flowers. Each has five open petals welcoming passing insects. A Brooklyn Botanic Garden study found this native species is now the most common tree in the New York metropolitan region.