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Expo of living butterflies open in Atyrau

December 12 2012, 11:54

To hold a Blue Morpho butterfly is believed to be a great piece of happiness. Indians of America call it ‘a particle of the sky that has fallen onto ground.’ Amazonian tribes believe - should someone get hold of Blue Morpho and make a wish, it will come true for sure. Our city people now have a unique chance to touch palm size Morpho wings and witness parlor of many other exotic butterflies as well. The Museum of Local Lore is now hosting an exposition of tropical Lepidoptera creatures. 

For the opening night the organizers from Pavlodar brought over 130 pupas in special containers.

“We order pupas from the Philippines and Costa Rica, says Zhandarbek Dzhakupov, a guide. – About 70 butterflies emerged from their pupas by the start of the expo. Over 10 various types of them were on display.”

A small tent sheltering the collection of living butterflies has conditions maximum similar to tropical – air temperature above 26o Celsius and humidity not less than 65%.

Here is a container with horizontal bars, to which pupas are attached and butterflies eclose.

Visitors can witness how just emerged butterflies outspread their thin wings and make first-ever beatings. The miracle lasts nearly two hours.  

Here, one may also see rare and exclusively beautiful butterflies such as Caligo, Attacus atlas, Scarlet Mormon, Rice Paper butterfly and others.

Caligo, a so called ‘owl butterfly,’ mostly leads night life. It is the only butterfly capable of making ultrasound to confuse bats - their predators.

Attacus atlas is the largest butterfly on display at the expo.

With a wing spread of 30cm it’s unique by not eating anything through its short life – 5-7 days.

Its pupas are very hard, like carton. In Taiwan, women use them as purses.

Scarlet Mormons are very bright and look cuddlesome at once.

They are originally from the Philippines, where believed as the symbol of passion.

Males and females can feel each other at long distance.

In the Philippines, young men and girls give each other these butterflies as a sign of love and fidelity. 

 ‘Rice Paper’ butterfly has much laced wings.

In China, the country of its origin, it’s deemed the symbol of love and family.

Unlike other Lepidoptera, Rice Paper butterflies are monogamic and select only one partner for their short lives.

According to a Chinese belief if Rice Paper flies into your house – it’s an omen of addition to the family. Young men give it to girls they love and parents give it to the just married.

The expo is open through December 23.

By Tamara SUKHOMLINOVA

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