The structure of the egg inspired the construction of the Mariposario in the Geodome.
The caterpillar accumulates cyanide when feeding. The birds that eat it get sick and don't eat that type of caterpillar again.
The Reserve's Butterflies
You’ll be dazzled by the beauty of our butterflies as you walk into the dome, astonished by the miracle of metamorphosis when you see the different stages of a butterfly’s development, and be gratified with your new-found (or confirmed) knowledge on butterflies.
The Geo-Dome is the first structure of its kind in Guatemala. We designed it to be spacious enough for butterflies to lay eggs, grow, and fly happily. Some of our most beautiful butterflies, the Heraclides and Morphos, need at least 10 m (33 ft.) of height to fly, which is why we wanted our structure to be as high as we could. Within its 1,879 m³ (66,356 ft.³) we can comfortably house at least 1000 butterflies of 12 different species. Make sure to check our blog post on why we think Geo-Domes are great.
Biodiversity and us
Local visitors in the 90s commented they no longer saw various native species of butterflies in their own neighborhoods. The lack of diversity is due to many factors, including a reduction in the amount and diversity of plants that support the life-cycle of butterflies. Since then, we have grown a variety of plants that butterflies feed from and lay their eggs on, creating an oasis of biodiversity.
To avoid predators from feasting on the various stages of the life cycle of butterflies, we created spaces that are biologically isolated. We use micro-pore membranes in the geo-dome and in the laboratory. With our current setup, we insure that 85% of butterflies emerge healthy and ready to continue their life cycle. In addition to handling eggs, larvae, caterpillars and chrysalides, we use our laboratory for biological research.