By Jose Benzaquen Perea/ Ambassador of Peru
• The Peruvian natural diversity of its forests has allowed this beautiful creature, with its multicolored presentation and dimensions, to enrich the fauna
Butterflies are one of the creatures that nature has given us to beautify this world. The Lepidoptera are an order of insects of incomparable beauty, whose name comes from the Greek words lepis (scale) and pteron (wing).
Peru, with its great natural diversity, is home to thousands of species of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects, with constant new discoveries; and, butterflies are found in many places, especially in the tropical regions of the Amazon which contains one-fifth of the world’s fresh water and emits more than 20% of the world’s oxygen. It also has a very large ecosystem.
The Peruvian natural diversity of its forests has allowed this beautiful being, with its multicolored presentation and dimensions, to enrich the fauna of which we must care. Peru is one of the countries with the most butterfly species in the world.
It is an amazing species that normally lives in warm tropical climates and its habitat; today they are suffering the effects of the destruction of their means of subsistence.
They have a short existence, some live a week and some even months, and the life cycle of a butterfly — as we know it — goes through several changes which we call metamorphosis: egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa and finally, the butterfly.
For the flora and fauna, these beautiful insects play an important role in the pollination of flowers, thus preserving the environment, and they can travel – depending on the species – significant distances in search of their food.
In Peru there are more than 4,500,000 species of this winged insect that amaze with their colors, sizes and shapes, making it the country with the largest number of species, of about 10,000 that exist on the planet.
As mentioned, they inhabit the Amazon and national reserves such as Tambopata and Manu National Park in the Madre de Dios region.
This living being that adorns our landscapes with dominance and grace in its flights, with its four wings covered with thousands of scales of various colors, feeds mainly on floral sap at a temperature of 29 degrees.
These species are mono-specific because they only feed on a single plant and the Order is divided: the Diurnal and the Nocturnal. Another characteristic of butterflies is the ability to camouflage themselves so as not to be vulnerable to predators; an example of this species would be “Owl” in South America.
In addition, butterflies are so fragile that they spend moments of rest to protect themselves from dehydration.
Currently in Peru we have places of reproduction of some species in danger of extinction, works carried out by the State and many organizations dedicated to the preservation of the environment and various types of denominations of places dedicated to the protection of Mother Nature were created within the Peruvian Heritage.
We should mention that one of the emblematic butterflies is the “Blue Morpho” which is blue in color and large in scale, which comes in several varieties because it has scales on the wings which are not replaced. In their structure, they have antennae, and in the adult stage they feed on the nectar of flowers.
Even now, investigators continue to uncover the life of this attractive animal and the preservation of butterflies we can see in Mother Nature.
In Qatar, we have witnessed huge efforts for the reforestation program and we are sure that we will have the adaptation of many other varieties of butterflies.
As mentioned, Peru is a rich country that brings together thousands of different species, a wonderful wildlife destination of its own beauty and not only because it has the Amazon rainforest but also the wildlife. Peru is just one of many spectacular highlights of this great travel destination that welcomes you to its unique and rich country.