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New Zealand red admiral

The New Zealand red admiral is a butterfly endemic to New Zealand. Its Māori name is kahukura, which means "red cloak"; the red admiral is a member of the family Nymphalidae, the subfamily Nymphalinae and the tribe Nymphalini. There are two subspecies: V. g. gonerilla, which occurs on the mainland of New Zealand, V. g. ida, which occurs on the Chatham Islands. The red admiral is a medium-sized butterfly with a 50–60 mm wingspan; the top side of the forewings is black, with a central bright red bar running back from the front edge. There are white spots, fringed with light blue, near the forewing tips; the rear wings are a dark reddish brown with a red patch containing four black circles. The underside of the rear wings is a mottled collection of white/brown/black shapes, which camouflages the butterfly when at rest; when revealed, the underside of the forewings display a striking blue eyespot bracketed by white and red arcs. Red admirals are common throughout New Zealand where their food plants occur.

Anecdotal evidence suggest their numbers have been declining since the early 1900s, the species has disappeared from Auckland. This is linked to spraying and the decline of native nettle plants, although nettle numbers are affected by drought. Another factor in red admiral decline has been exotic parasitic wasps; the Australian white-spotted ichneumon wasp Echthromorpha intricatoria is self introduced, the pteromalid wasp Pteromalus puparum was introduced by government entomologists in 1932–33 to control the adventive cabbage white butterfly, a serious agricultural pest in New Zealand. One study at Banks Peninsula noted that 1–19% of red admiral pupae were parasitised by P. puparum, 20–30% by E. intricatoria. The primary host plant for red admiral larvae is the native stinging nettle, although larvae can eat other Urtica species. Throughout their life they use the nettle leaf to protect them during the day, by rolling the edge around them, or folding the leaf over into a'tent'; the green, barrel-shaped, ribbed eggs are laid singly on a leaf.

The larva only eats enough of the eggshell to get out, whereas the related yellow admiral larva consumes the whole shell. Larvae go through five growth stages. For about 10 days they have a brown body with fine hairs. At about 2.5 mm they moult and during this stage develop a pale stripe along the body just above the legs. The setae start to develop spikes two or more at this stage. At about 5 mm long they moult again and the pale longitudinal lines become more obvious. At about 10 mm they moult once more, the setae develop more spikes; the last moult is at about 22 mm, from where caterpillars grow to about 36 mm before pupating into a 20–mm pupa. It is difficult to tell red admiral and yellow admiral caterpillars apart: looking at the 4th and 6th body segments, the yellow admiral larva has a wider light coloured area than the red admiral; the pupa of the red admiral tends to be thinner and longer than that yellow admiral when compared side by side, but otherwise they are difficult to distinguish.

Adult red admirals occur most during summer. They over-winter as adults, they are long lived, surviving up to six months in the summer, nine months for those which overwinter. The adults feed on nectar from various plant species and on seepage of sap, they are strong fliers, but their short flights when feeding and ovipositing are erratic. Flights over water or mountain ranges are straight and fast, characteristic of a migrating butterfly, but no migration within New Zealand has been reported. New Zealand red admiral discussed on RadioNZ Critter of the Week, 1 July 2016

Fusaichi Pegasus

Fusaichi Pegasus is an American Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the Kentucky Derby in 2000. The colt was purchased as a yearling for $4 million by Fusao Sekiguchi, his name is a combination of his owner's name, "Fusao," and the Japanese word for one, "ichi," to mean #1 or the best. The second half is the winged horse of Greek mythology. "FuPeg", as the stallion is known by his fans, is a son of Mr. Prospector and out of Angel Fever, a mare by leading sire Danzig. In early 2000 Fusaichi Pegasus won Jerome Handicap. Fusaichi Pegasus won the Kentucky Derby in 2000 in a time of 2:01.12 for the 1​1⁄4 mile distance. He was the first favorite to win the Kentucky Derby since Spectacular Bid in 1979, he lost to Red Bullet in the Preakness Stakes. After his loss in the Preakness Stakes, he did not race in the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. In 2000, he was sold to Irish breeder Coolmore Stud for a reported price of more than US$60 million; the previous record for a stallion prospect was US$40m, paid in 1983 for Shareef Dancer.

For several years, Fusaichi Pegasus served as a "shuttle stallion" standing at Coolmore's Ashford Stud near Versailles, during the Northern Hemisphere breeding season and at Coolmore Australia near Jerrys Plains, New South Wales, during the Southern Hemisphere breeding season. Since the 2010 breeding season, he has stood in Kentucky. Among his progeny are Grade 1 winners Bandini, Roman Ruler and Haradasun. Fusaichi Pegasus is considered a disappointment as a stallion considering the price for which Sekiguchi sold him, his son Roman Ruler produced Ruler on Ice, winner of the 2011 Belmont Stakes