The study, published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, documented physiological and genetic damage to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, which was overwintering as larvae when the nuclear disaster began.
The researchers write that "the Zizeeria maha population in the Fukushima area is deteriorating physiologically and genetically. Most likely, this deterioration is due to artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP, as suggested by our field work and laboratory experiments."
"It has been believed that insects are very resistant to radiation," lead researcher Joji Otaki from the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, told BBC news.
"In that sense, our results were unexpected," said Otaki.
Scientists first began tracking common butterflies around the nuclear plant two months after the disaster. They collected 121 insects, and found 12 percent of them had unusually small wings. That number jumped more than 5 percent when butterflies collected from the plant site had offspring of their own.
In another group of butterflies collected six months after the disaster, scientists found 28 percent had “abnormal” traits. That number nearly doubled among the second generation born.
Researchers noted other abnormalities including malformed antennae and appendages.
This blog has become a place where I post articles that I find related to global warming - causes and effects, as well as a few other topics - related or not.
Jellyfish are like poster-boys of global warming changes - jellyfish are one species of animal that are doing very well. The increased acidity of the oceans, warmer waters, the decrease in predators as fish and other wildlife decline have all favored jellyfish. They seem to thrive on the fertilizers that people have been washing into the seas. Most animals do not.
I also like to post discoveries - especially discoveries that are being made out in space as people are able to see farther and farther galaxies and nebulas and supernovas. Even though I don't think that people will ever go live any of those places - I just like knowing that they are out there. It's part of keeping in mind that the earth and it's inhabitants are such a small part of what is going on in the universe.
I have another blog with posts on art and artists - it's called M'S IMPRESSIONS.