Meet Croatian butterflies, their life cycle and threats that endanger them. From more than 17 000 described species of diurnal butterflies worldwide, Europe is home to 576, while in Croatia 197 species can be found. Such a high number of butterfly species in Croatia is a consequence of exceptional habitat diversity.
Why are butterflies important?
Butterflies play a number of roles in the environment. While migrating, these insects provide assistance for genetic variation in the plant species they that they collect nectar from. Butterflies also act as a lower member of the food chain. They are a hearty meal for a number of animals, including birds and mice. As populations of butterfly diminish, so will populations of birds and other animals that rely on them as a food source.
MEET PAINTED LADY
Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) is a proper flying machine, easily flying over great distances carried by an inexhaustible instinct to procreate and inhabit new areas. Primarily limited to warmer, southern parts of the Mediterranean, they migrate northward in summer and reach all the way to England.
WATCH BUTTERFLIES FEEDING
Butterflies can eat anything that can dissolve in water. They mostly feed on nectar from flowers but also eat tree sap, dung, pollen, or rotting fruit. They are attracted to sodium found in saltand sweat. This is why they sometimes even land on people in butterfly parks. Sodium as well as many other minerals is vital for the butterflies reproduction.