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Butterflies Provide ‘Extraordinary’ Help Pollinating Cotton Fields

When it comes to cotton, butterflies play an unexpected role. A new study suggests that hoverflies and butterflies add about $120 million per year to the cotton harvest in Texas alone. Butterfly biologists hope the findings will encourage farmers to conserve habitat that benefits these overlooked pollinators.

“People value butterflies because they’re charismatic, and people can see them in their gardens, but now I can point to them as pollinators and know that they can have a significant effect.”

Nick Haddad, butterfly biologist at Michigan State University and co-author

Read the original article in Science.