Zoo Watch: Boom in butterfly numbers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

PUBLISHED: 07:32 18 October 2019 | UPDATED: 07:32 18 October 2019

The tree nymph butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The tree nymph butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

TONY MARGIOCCHI

Keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are celebrating particularly high numbers of butterflies this autumn in the zoo’s tropical butterfly house.

The tiger longwing butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe tiger longwing butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The chrysalis-shaped butterfly house is one of the largest butterfly biomes in the UK, and features colourful butterflies from around the world. It is currently full of hundreds of butterflies, in part due to the temperate weather conditions.

Team leader Alex Cliffe said: "Although we keep conditions within the butterfly house warm and humid all year round, the butterflies love this time of year when the outside temperature isn't too hot or too cold.

The monarch butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe monarch butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

"All our species, from the shimmering blue morpho butterfly to the Atlas moth, which is one of the largest in the world, seem to be thriving.

"It's lovely to watch visitors, especially children, have close-up encounters with these incredible, colourful creatures, and see families discovering every stage of their life cycle at the Metamorphosis Zone."

The plain tiger butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe plain tiger butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

Butterflies are not the only creatures at the zoo increasing their numbers this autumn.

Within the same building, Whipsnade's new aquarium is welcoming a raft of new fish into its 'Brazilian Flooded Forest' exhibit, including the Halloween-theme-named black ghost knifefish.

The Indian leafwing butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe Indian leafwing butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The Indian leafwing butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe Indian leafwing butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The zebra longwing butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe zebra longwing butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The flamebeau butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe flamebeau butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The tree nymph butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe tree nymph butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The blue morpho butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe blue morpho butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The tree nymph butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe tree nymph butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

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The blue morpho butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe blue morpho butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

The tree nymph butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony MargiocchiThe tree nymph butterfly at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Picture: Tony Margiocchi


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