Saturday, July 9, 2011

butterflies of Brazil

Evelyn and I went to the annual butterfly show at the Krohn Conservatory. Featured this year were many different species of butterflies native to Brazil. The butterfly exhibit was in the large seasonal room, which is airlocked so as not to allow foreign butterflies into the local environment. The habitat was filled with many plants and flowers that are native to the Brazilian environment.

Perhaps the most beautiful butterfly we saw at the exhibit was the blue morpho, which is the national butterfly of Brazil. One of the world's largest species of butterfly, the blue morpho has a wing span of five to eight inches wide and has vibrant blue wings lined with black. When closed, the wings are a dull brown with dark eyespots that provide the butterfly camouflage from predators. There were dozens of other butterflies present in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

Always an educational experience, this trip to the Krohn Conservatory was especially unique. Evelyn and I discussed deforestation of the butterflies native rain forests in South America as the largest threat to these butterflies.

It was hard to capture photos of the butterflies as they moved so quickly, especially since it was a lovely, sunny day. Children and adults alike are permitted and encouraged to gently and respectfully interact with the butterflies.

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