Fascinating beauty

Experts estimate that the Cristalino area contains some 2,000 species of butterflies and moths. The list of registered species currently stands at 1,576.

Butterflies are part of a magnificent group of insects called Lepidoptera, and are important pollinators of flowers. Their wings tend to be very colorful, although not all the colors are visible to the human eye, while moths tend to have darker wings, although there are many exceptions to this rule. Almost all butterflies are active during the warmer hours of the day – usually between 10 am and 4 pm – and most of them are inactive at night, when they hide beneath leaves, as they also do when it rains heavily, for protection. 

Adult butterflies need nectar and organic material in order to be able to mate. That is why it is very common to see them on beaches, rocks, plants and in the lower levels of the forest. Their stunning beauty made watching butterflies a popular leisure activity throughout the world.

In 2006, the butterfly expert John Banks made the film "What's Going On Here?" about the species to be found at Cristalino Lodge. The DVD, with audio in Portuguese or English, can be purchased at Cine Butterflies.

"Today more than ever we need to connect with each human being to transmit the conservation message propagated in ecological reserves such as Cristalino".
Antonio Nobre, scientist from Inpe (National Institute for Space Research)