July 2, 2012 § 2 Comments
We all know that rainforests are incredibly biodiverse, yet when picturing one most of us would probably think of the same few animals. Monkeys screeching in the canopy, or a tiger on the prowl below. Nesting parrots or, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, poison frogs and piranha fish.
However, over 90% of animal species found in rainforests are insects. So for this post, I’ve decided to concentrate on what I think is the prettiest of insects, butterflies.
Well, butterflies and moths to be precise. I recently visited Stratford-upon-Avon’s butterfly farm which has some interesting examples of both.
I really liked this Madagascan Moon moth, which is just as brightly coloured as a butterfly, not at all like those that continually fly into light bulbs. It’s also known as the Comet Moth because of its long fiery red tails.
Whilst the farm breeds some butterflies themselves, they also import them from the tropics. The natural habitat of butterflies must be protected in order to breed sustainably. It’s a labour intensive process which means employment and income for the villages involved.
As well being a tourist attraction the farm supports conservation by doing business responsibly. It certainly was an interesting day out and lovely to see exotic butterflies up close.
[Scarce Bamboo Page (Philaethria dido). Similiar to a Malachite but with a longer wing shape]
[Lime Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus) with a rather sorry looking crumpled wing.]
By Emma Law