Did you know that…
- Most exotic species live for only 2 – 4 weeks
- The fastest species can fly as fast as a horse can gallop
- The largest butterflies have wingspans of over 30 cm
- Butterflies already lived in the same era as dinosaurs
- Their taste buds are located on the soles of their feet
- Butterflies are the second greatest flower pollinators in the world.
- Some species do not eat any food during their lifetime
- The butterfly species in Papilonia do not have an evolutionary-developed fear of people
Everything begins with a small egg, laid by a female on the leaf of a plant that will serve as the food of future caterpillars. According to the species, a future caterpillar spends a week to seven months in the egg.
You can see the eggs (small, light-coloured balls) in the flight zone on, e.g., the leaves of a banana or citrus tree.
If you see a butterfly flying several centimetres above a banana (or citrus) tree with its rear end gently tapping a leaf, look closely – you are probably witness to a female laying the eggs of a future generation of butterflies.
Upon hatching, caterpillars are only several millimetres long and they immediately begin to hastily feed. They can grow up to 300 times their original size. If a person were to grow in the same ratio as butterfly caterpillars do, they would easily reach the height of half of the Eiffel Tower by adulthood.
So-called mimicry protects caterpillars from predators – they imitate the colour and shapes of leaves, branches, or even bird droppings. Some have protective spikes, and others are even venomous.
If you are looking to find caterpillars, take a close look at the leaves of the banana or citrus trees. And do not forget to look on the bottom side of the leaves, too! Naturally, caterpillars hide from their predators there.
Adult caterpillars stop feeding, find a peaceful spot, and create a protective casing around themselves - the cocoon. Inside, one of the most amazing metamorphoses in the animal world takes place. First, enzymes that dissolve the bodies of caterpillars into a pulpy mass are released. Only the basic cells of the future butterfly’s organs survive the effects of the enzymes. It is around these cells that the new body of a completely different shape is formed.
Thirty to eighty butterflies are born every day in each Papilonia butterfly house. Just wait awhile by the incubator and observe the cocoons that are translucent, through which you can already see butterfly wings. These cocoons are in their last phase before the new specimen is born.
After hatching from the cocoon, the butterfly still has some way to go. First, they need to dry their wings, which some are never successful at doing. If they are, the adult butterfly has just one task - to mate and create another generation. Since the adult butterfly usually lives only two-four weeks, it truly does not have much time to spare.
If you want to increase your chances of a butterfly landing on you, wear a yellow shirt. Ladies can also wear a fruity perfume.
The Papilio lowi Asian swallowtail loves the nectar of citruses and is striking for its large wingspan.
Thanks to its white-blue wing colour, the Great Eggfly has earned the poetic name of the Blue Moon butterfly. Males and females have different wing designs.
The common rose is a beauty among the swallowtails. You can recognise this butterfly by its darkly coloured wings with pink ornaments.
Thanks to its specific wing design, the emerald swallowtail has earned the nickname of emerald peacock or also the green-banded peacock.
The orange oakleaf, Indian oakleaf, or dead leaf is a perfect example of camouflage. When its wings are closed, it looks like a dead leaf.
The lime butterfly or the Christmas butterfly are names used for this beautiful butterfly, whose wing design allows you to literally look into their eyes.
The tropical good looker that is Morpho peleides is rightfully known as an emperor. It is unmistakable for its distinct shiny blue wing colour.
In its species, this invisible butterfly is unique. It has hardly any wing pigment, making them translucent and ideal for perfectly blending in.
The comma butterfly or the purple emperor butterfly are the names of some of the most beautiful butterflies in the world. The pieridae of Mexico are nicknamed the angels of the tropics.