Butterfly and moth gallery and facts

Find out about the habitats and habits of some of the species on display in the butterfly house.

Green longwing or scarce bamboo page butterfly, 'Philaethria dido'

Green longwing or scarce bamboo page butterfly, Philaethria dido

Where? The United States and South America.
Habitat Tropical rainforest.
Science fact This butterfly is often found in the canopy which makes it difficult to spot.

Great mormon butterfly, 'Papilio memnon'

Great mormon butterfly, Papilio memnon

Where? The Philippines, China, Burma, Japan and South Asia.
Habitat Probably a jungle butterfly originally, now frequently seen in gardens and cultivated areas.
Science fact The females show a variety of patterns that mimic other, distasteful butterflies.

Scarlet swallowtail butterfly, 'Papilio rumanzovia'

Scarlet swallowtail, Papilio rumanzovia

Where? Tailwan, Philippines and parts of eastern Indonesia.
Habitat A wide range of habitats from coastal lowlands to mountains.
Science fact This swallowtail mimics the toxic semperi swallowtail but the body colour is dark rather than red.

Glasswing butterfly, 'Greta morgane oto'

Glasswing butterfly, Greta morgane oto

Where? Central America.
Habitat Tropical rainforest.
Science fact The Greta morgane has body fluids taken from plants which are nauseating for birds, making them unattractive prey.

Blue peacock or blue mormon butterfly, 'Papilio polymnestor'

Blue peacock or blue mormon butterfly, Papilio polymnestor

Where? Southern India, Sri Lanka and western Java.
Habitat Evergreen forest, deciduous forests and urban areas.
Science fact The blue peacock is very tolerant of the presence of other butterflies and humans. It even visits animal droppings.

Lime swallowtail, 'Papilio demoleus'

Lime swallowtail, Papilio demoleus

Where? The Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Australia.
Habitat Savannah, gardens, evergreen forests and riverbeds.
Science fact This butterfly is an avid mud-puddler. It spends time in groups on wet soil, dung and carrion to obtain nutrients such as salts.

Banded peacock butterfly, 'Papilio palinurus'

Banded peacock butterfly, Papilio palinurus

Where? South East Asia.
Habitat Forests.
Science fact The iridescent green of the bands is caused by light being bent (refracted) by the scales.

Monarch butterfly, 'Dannaus plexippus'

Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus

Where? The Americas and the West Indies, New Zealand and Australia, and a few parts of Europe.
Habitat Forests.
Science fact Monarchs are foul-tasting and poisonous because they have a heart poison in their bodies. Any bird that tries to eat a monarch soon learns to avoid them in future!

Atlas moth, 'Attacus atlas'

Atlas moth, Attacus atlas

Where? South East Asia.
Habitat Tropical evergreen and deciduous forests, gardens and urban areas.
Science fact The cocoon is hidden in the leaves and secured to a branch with silk so it doesn't fall to the ground. Atlas Moths can spend anything from three months to two years in the cocoon but the adult moths live for only a few days.

North American luna moth, 'Actias luna'

North American luna moth, Actias luna

Where? Eastern North America.
Habitat Temperate deciduous forests, gardens and parks.
Science fact The ends of the hindwing tails are twisted and spin in flight. This makes the moth appear larger than it really is to the sonar of hunting bats, which may then avoid the moth because they are too large to eat.