Night Butterflies Exist in Papua, Here are the Scientific Facts

goodmorningpapua.com – Butterflies in Papua do not only appear during the day, but also at night. These types of night butterfly will rest during the day and spread its wings at night.

Reported from the indonesia.go.id page, Thursday, March 11, 2021, a Dutch Brother named Henk Van Masrigt started collecting butterflies when he was assigned to Papua since 1974. But in the late 80s, he began to seriously form an expedition team consisting of several students of Cendrawasih University of Papua and other volunteers.

Before Brother Henk passed way on August 5, 2015, he handed over his 72,000 collection of butterfly specimens. Now, these collections are in the Papua Insect Collection Laboratory (KSP) Br Henk Van Mastrigt OFM which was inaugurated since January 15, 2016.

As stated by experts, there are 50 percent of butterfly species in Indonesia that can be found in Papua. In the laboratory, Brother Henk collects day butterflies and night ones from various regions of Papua, from the coast to the mountains.

Then, what is the difference between day butterflies and the night ones? Both are insect animals belonging to the order “Lepidoptera”. Both also undergo metamorphosis from eggs then hatch into caterpillars and turn into cocoons and finally into butterflies.

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Although both are insect animals belonging to the order “Lepidoptera” and both undergo metamorphosis from eggs to become butterflies, day and night butterflies have differences.

The difference between the two lies in the shape of the antennae on their heads. While the daytime butterflies have rounded ends of the antennae, the night butterflies have tapered and fluffy antennae.

Their activities are different. If the day butterfly is active and looking for food during the day, the night butterfly does it at night.

Another difference is the color and pattern of the wings. The day butterfly is more varied in color and has a striking color. On the other hand, night butterflies have a monotonous pattern and tend to have dark wings.

Butterflies are known to be able to detect regional pollution. If there are host plants that are a source of food, but no butterflies, it could be that the place has been polluted.

This is why in the past we could easily see hundreds of species of butterflies only 500 meters from Jayapura City, whereas now we have to walk into the forest away to see them.

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