Of the more than 200 species of butterflies and moths that the “Butterfly Rainforest” displays, the best (in my humble opinion) is easily the Procilla Beauty, Panacea procilla. A native of countries from Costa Rica to Colombia, this medium-sized beauty is closely related to the Cracker butterflies of the genus Hamadryas.
Like the Crackers, the Procilla Beauty is fond of resting with its wings open on the trunks of palm trees. Unlike the Crackers, this stunning beauty does not rely on camouflage, but instead seems to use its bright coloration to warn potential predators it is toxic to eat.
The Procilla Beauty is a butterfly that we only receive a handful of times during the year at the “Butterfly Rainforest,” and this past week we were lucky enough to receive a shipment from Costa Rica. We invite you to come and see if you can find and enjoy their stunning colors.
Procilla Beauties also do not feed on flowers, so look for them instead among the Blue Morphos and Owl butterflies on our trays of fruit. If you’re unable to find them feeding, keep an eye out among our palm trees to try and locate them.
The species on display are always changing in the “Butterfly Rainforest,” and this is an uncommon opportunity to see the Procilla Beauty. Don’t miss it—we’d be glad to have you stop by!
Photos by Ryan Fessenden