They are the main attraction for a hundred insects and birds, which have been half gone after the cold days. Their presence in the environment is vital for the life cycle.
How about we lend a hand to nature to try to attract more butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to receive the spring?
The presence of butterflies in the garden improves pollination, sensitizes children and attracts birds, lizards and frogs, all-important beings for the biological control of pests and diseases.
Pollination is the process of fertilization of plants, in which pollen is taken by insects, through their legs and mouths, into the ovary of plants, giving rise to fruit and seeds.
Some common plants in gardens can help attract butterflies. Below I made a list of the main ones:
Lantana Camara, malvavisco, calendars, exora, helicôneas, petrea, garden manna (Brunfelsia pilosa or B. uniflora), madressilva, melissa (Lipia cuffia) and roses
Zynia, dahlias, lilies, jalappa, sunflower, carnations, cosmos, tagetes, heliotropes, sores and daisies
Climbing or hanging plants
African ivy, rucellia, spring, yellow jasmine, star jasmine, grabby love and petrea
In the garden
Smelling peas, coriander, rocket, basil, mint, boldo, and all the plants of the cabbage family (the cruciferae) are full of nectar. They are among the butterfly’s favorite flowers, because the caterpillars like to eat their tender leaves.
There are also butterfly species and related plants. They are plants that host the caterpillars and serve as food for butterflies. Many of them originate from Brazilian native forests. Below I relate some butterflies with host plants, mentioned in several sources, however, not all of them I could identify with popular names, because these names change a lot from one state to another.
Butterfly pardinha or butterfly carijó (Hamandryas februa) – emits noises during the procession. He is a guest of the vine of fire or nettle vine (Delachampia scandens L.).
Butterfly of the manna (Methona themisto) – native of the regions of the Atlantic Forest, this yellow and black butterfly feeds on this floral subbase of extreme beauty and perfume, with white, pink and lilac flowers, called garden manna (Brunfelsia pilosa or B. uniflora) ). These butterflies are capable of pretending to be dead so as not to be caught.
White butterfly (Ascia Monuste) – known as the “plague of cabbage”. Flowers that attract them: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, sores, rocket. They place the yellow eggs on the underside of the leaves. They eat whole plants.
Butterfly (Catonephele numilia penthia) – lives associated with the Alchornea cordata plant. It is also attracted by fermented vegetable secretions. Its pupa is dark green and enjoys the open field.
Butterfly Zebrinha (Colubra dirce) is attracted by the embaúba, a native tree, widely distributed in gallery forests (on the edge of streams and floodplains).
Butterfly Maria boba – the name is due to its slow and weak flight. Also known as the small Spanish flag (Smyrna blomfildia ). Its caterpillars are attracted by the nettle (Urera baccifera).
American monarch butterfly (Danaus-plexipus erripus) – guest of the plant called the official hall (Asclepias curassavica), is also attracted by the lantana chamber.
Butterfly owl (Butterfly Caligo eurilochus brasiliensis) – the largest in Brazil, with 17 cm of wingspan. It is more active after sunset, so it looks for nocturnal flowering trees, such as cactus, water stick and lady of the night. It mimics (imitates) the eyes of the owl, scaring away small predators such as caterpillars, rodents and skunks.
Butterfly Julia or Flambeau (Dyras iulia) – known for its color of fire, inhabits the feet of Passion Fruit. It has a 9.5 cm wingspan and an oral device that allows it to eat pollen (proteins) also drink tears and urine from the American Alligator.
Blue butterflies (Morpho aega and Morpho portis thamyris) – water green butterfly (Morpho ephistophus catenaria), correlates with the occurrence of the tree called Cordia (Alchornea cordata), which can be found mainly in the Atlantic Forest. It has special mechanisms in the mouth, which allow them to absorb nectar from fallen and fermented fruits inside the forest, as well as mineral salts and proteins, important substances for their diet, which they remove from animal feces.