Costa Rica and Its Immense Variety of Butterflies That the World Also Enjoys

    The Central American country has become an exporter of native butterflies that today is known as a sustainable business that benefits hundreds of families...

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    There is a business in Costa Rica that provides income to the poorest families in the country and protects the forests.In the Central American country there are some 400 families dedicated to the breeding of tropical butterflies, and of course, the country offers the ideal conditions.

    Costa Rica is home to some 15,000 species of butterflies. Let us remember that it constitutes a large part of the biodiversity of our beloved planet.It is worth noting that the breeders work with companies specialized in exporting and the ones that are sent the most are the chrysalis, better known as the penultimate instar before the butterflies complete their metamorphosis and fly.

    In their work, together with the companies, they all keep in mind that the ethical idea is not to export for the sake of exporting -without knowing how they are going to treat them-, they take into account: where they are going and what is the use that is going to be given to them, because they are ambassadors of Costa Rica and that is why they are aware of the place where they are going to arrive.

    Where are the butterflies exported to?

    Experts on issues such as the environment, flora and fauna, and biodiversity in general, have assured that Costa Rica has 90% of all species in Central America and 16 percent of the total world butterfly population.

    Those who have focused on species such asbutterflies, comment that the main destination of the chrysalis is the United States 38% according to official figures, followed by Europe.

    Over time, they have joined the US and Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, New Zealand or Dubai, as well as Russia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Chile, among others.

    Where are they appreciated?

    In museums, butterfly farms and laboratories around the world.Due to the life cycle of some species of butterflies, which can be 45 days, the export demand is usually permanent.

    Experiences of butterfly breeders

    Because the export of butterflies is a delicate business due to the issue of care, breeders are trained by experts.Everything is evaluated, the promotion of forest conservation, the study of temperature, absolutely everything for their care from when they are raised until they are moved and much more.

    But let’s learn about the experience of two Costa Rican butterfly breeders, considering that their lives have changed in a good way, since they are unique insects, which have

    Much to offer in the eyes of the people of the world.

    After a spinal cord injury, YennyVíquez had to quit her job at the office and discovered her love for butterflies. This has been a passion that has also offered her a new job perspective. It dedicates 10 hours a day to its young, what takes the longest is the search for eggs and larvae in the leaves.

    For her, it has been one of the best experiences in life, because she maintains a special connection with nature, in turn taking care of the environment, “working with butterflies gives me peace of mind and relaxation,” she said.

    Yenny recently moved with her family to a farm in San Ramón, near the country’s capital San José, because she needed more space for the breeding of butterflies and, mainly, a place to grow the many plants on which the insects depend.

    Approximately 10 species of butterflies for export are bred in its area.Each butterfly occupies a specific plant to lay its eggs, which are what they call hosts, in the same way, butterflies need a lot of flowers but they contain nectar or pollen.

    On the other hand, we want to highlight another butterfly breeder, Donald Arce, specifically of the morpho species, large in size and with a beautiful iridescent blue color. Arce and his wife export them to half the world.The butterflies of the morpho species are up to 15 centimeters, brown on one side and a beautiful blue on the other.

    Donald Arce works with morpho butterflies pupae at his laboratory where they are produced for export in Limon, Costa Rica, on October 29, 2021. – Costa Rica is gaining strength as one of the world’s largest exporters of morpho butterflies. (Photo by Ezequiel BECERRA / AFP)

    Donald explained that what they send to their customers are butterfly cocoons, before they hatch (the action of birthing or sprouting a living being after breaking the envelope (egg, cocoon, etc., that contained it).

    They have a butterfly farm in Siquirres, 111 km from San José, only for layers. Arce and his family take a host plant to the butterfly farm, which fills with eggs, then they transfer the plant to the laboratory and, when the larvae begin to hatch, they form groups and take them to the field (until they become cocoons) and from there they bag them.

    The Tico produces between 2,000 and 2,500 chrysalises each week, the majority for export, which makes it one of the world’s leading producers of this species.Arce feeds his butterflies bananas and a concoction, keeping the ingredients a secret.

    Arce, has dedicated half of his life to the production of butterfly chrysalis, becoming one of the world’s largest breeders of the MorphoPeleides species.The Blue Morpho, is that type of butterfly among the most notable in all of Costa Rica for its authentic color.Finally, butterflies are also like a symbol of life, of the steps that one takes and transforms just like them, said Jenny Víquez.

    The butterfly goes through a process: egg, larva, pupa and then flies, and when it flies it has a few days of life, everything is very similar to the life of each person, sometimes it is difficult to achieve what one wants or the best, but you have to fight to get there and enjoy it when you already achieve your dreams. An important reflection because only those who live day by day with these incredible insects can manifest their greatness.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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