Butterflies and Brazil

Brazilian butterfly

by Sophia H., a 4th grade student from Ohio Connections Academy, 2010-2011

This project combined research done at the Lloyd Library and Museum on both Brazil and butterflies, in general, with a mini field trip to the Cincinnati, Ohio, Krohn Conservatory's annual butterfly show, which in 2011 featured butterflies from Brazil.

map of Brazilcover of Brazil and the BraziliansFacts about Bazil

Brazil is located in South America.

Brazil's official language is Portuguese.

The Amazonian Rainforests in Brazil are home to 2.5 million types of insects, 3000 kinds of fish, 1294 varieties of birds, 427 different mammals, 428 varieties of amphibians, and 378 different reptiles.(from information provided by Krohn Conservatory, 2011)

Plants from Brazil


Banana tree | Bromeliad

lobster clawprayer plant

Lobster claw | Prayer Plant

Robertson-Miller's Butterfly and Moth BookAbout Butterflies

Butterflies and moths only live for 14 days as adults.

They all start as tiny eggs and then hatch into larva, (also known as caterpillars).

After many molts they then go into their cocoons.

Then, after many weeks they come out as either a butterfly or a moth.

Then, after two weeks, they die.

Life cycle of the butterfly from a poster at the Krohn Conservatory

Poster of the butterfly cycle - image taken at Krohn Conservatory

Frontispiece from Merian's Surinam bookMaria Sibylla Merian - an early insect expert on South America

Over de voortteeling en wonderbaerlyke veranderingen der Surinaamsche insecten (1730)

She travelled to Surinam in South America with her daughter to collect and draw insects and plants there.

She was the first person to properly place insects in their correct habitat when drawing them.

At right is the frontispiece to her Surinam insects book.

Some Brazilian Butterflies

The Pantanal is home to a staggering diversity of life that rivals the Amazon. Butterflies of many colors float through the trees, while leaf-cutter ants (and the famous army ants) march underfoot in flowing rivers. Across Brazil there are at least 26,000 species of butterflies and moths.

postman butterflyPostman butterflies are a poisonous butterflies, they have long antenna and a wingspan of 6 to 8 cm. The caterpillars eat passion vines (Passiflora). Like monarch butterflies, this protects them from predators who would be poisoned if they ate them.



88 or 89 butterflyDiaethria is a brush-footed butterfly genus found in the Neotropical Ecozone, ranging from Mexico to Paraguay.

Species in this genus are commonly called eighty-eights because of the characteristic patterns on the wing undersides of many of the individuals. In Diaethria, the pattern consists of black dots surrounded by concentric white and black lines, and typically looks like the numbers "88" or "89."

At the Butterfly Show

blue morpho butterflySome of the butterflies featured at the butterfly show are the blue morpho (at left), the postman, and the monarch butterfly. There are some unique butterflies and some not so unique butterflies.

Blue morpho butterfly images
various butterflies
various butterflies
various butterflies
various butterflies


butterfly - yellow and blackKrohn Conservatory Flyer about the Butterfly Show - http://www.butterflyshow.com/

From Lloyd Library and Museum Collection:

  • Ellen Bell Robertson-Miller. Butterfly and Moth Book (1912)
  • James C. Fletcher. Brazil and the Brazilians (1879)
  • Konrad Guenther. A Naturalist in Brazil (1931)
  • Maria Sibylla Merian. Over de voortteeling en wonderbaerlyke veranderingen der Surinaamsche insecten (1730)
  • Help locating books and information provided by Lloyd Library staff

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