I have lived in the Chicago area for about 5 years now, and I have been wondering how the relatively unpredictable weather conditions during April/May (with temperatures sometimes oscillating between 35 and 70 F within hours) affect the life cycle of insects.
For example, we had a snow storm last Saturday, and as I was watching the snow violently pushed to the ground by the strong wind I kept thinking “how many of the American Ladies and Red Admirals I saw yesterday should I expect to die today? 20%, 60%?”
I’m thinking of insects in particular because I perceive arthropods as somehow less likely to resist extreme temperatures and weather conditions than most of the vertebrates living in the area; but that is just my unfounded intuition :-)
I would appreciate it very much if somebody could either provide some evidence and educated intuition about this, or/and point to research on the topic.
Thank you very much for your help!