Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

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February 2003

Flutter By

The special feature of this year’s butterfly exhibition at Munich’s Botanical Gardens is from the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan. Cultivated on special butterfly farms in Southeast Asia and Central America, these caterpillars were harvested as soon as they had pupated, then carefully packed in cotton and flown to Munich so that they would reach the Botanical Gardens in time for the annual butterfly display. Once released these colorful insects—green jade, gold, blue and dark red—blend into the floral surroundings. An average of 300 butterflies of 40 different species dance through the warm, humid air of the greenhouses (butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is below 86 degrees Fahrenheit). Visitors can look for the flying jewels on leaves (many can taste with their feet to determine if the leaf they land on is good to lay eggs on, eventually becoming their caterpillars’ food) as well as those on the ground known as “puddle clubs.” These groups of butterflies (usually males) gather around mud puddles and moist areas of soil to suck up salts and other minerals dissolved in water. Experts are on hand to provide information about the life cycle of these flying beauties, which have long been considered inspirational. Visit the Tropical Butterfly exhibition, which is open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm through March 30 in the Botanical Gardens, Menzinger Str. 65. Tel. (089) 17 86 13 21.

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