The Common Mime Swallowtail, Papilio clytia, so called because of its similar color patterns to more toxic butterflies. It is a classic example of Batesian mimicry wherein a palatable insect mimics a toxic one to avoid predation.
The aptly named Christmas Orchid finally decided to bloom today! This orchid, Cattleya trianae, is endemic to Colombia where it is endangered due to deforestation. It was adopted as the national flower of Colombia in 1936.
The Rice Paper butterfly is the star of our White Christmas event, but what is this iconic butterfly and where does it come from? Idea leuconoe is their scientific name, but they are commonly called Rice Papers, Paper Kites, or White Tree Nymphs. They are native from Southeast Asia to North Australia. They are large and graceful fliers that are unbothered by people and other butterflies because, like their American cousins the Monarchs, they are distasteful to predators due to the toxins they absorbed as caterpillars from their poisonous host plant. We are displaying many hundreds of them that are ...
Our next batch of Atlas moths are coming along nicely in our rearing program. Hard to believe these tiny treasures will turn into the largest moths in the world 😲 😯 😮 Expect to see these on display in a few months!