Our reserve has always been known as “Petaloudes,” which translates to “butterflies” in Greek. It is regarded as an oasis due to its consistent access to water from a natural spring. This uninterrupted flow of water has led to an overgrowth of vegetation, which includes cypress trees that have stood for more than 500 years, as well as ancient olive trees, fig trees, and pine trees.
A great variety of fruit trees, such as apricots, pears, plums, peaches, oranges, tangerines and others are also a part of the reserve. An impressive act of nature though is that, throughout the valley ivy has grown, surrounding every tree. It has taken over and it seems its Euplagia´s favourite place to rest.
The name was actually chosen by the locals many years ago in an attempt to capture the essence of the place. In reality, the species that has been taking refuge here is a moth, something that was unknown at the time. Though scientific research has clarified the distinction between butterflies and moths, the name of the reserve has remained unchanged, reflecting its historical significance.
As far as the species’ development is concerned, Euplagia quadripunctaria passes through four clear stages.
Euplagia quadripunctaria requires a cool environment and access to water for mating and can only be found in the reserve once it has fully matured. It is believed that the moths are guided to the perfect environment by their sense of smell, leading them to the reserve at night, starting from the end of May. As the season progresses, the number dramatically increases, creating a beautiful and rare sight of a species free in their natural habitat.
Visitors often ask what do the species eat, but the answer is surprising: Euplagia does not eat at the adult stage. Instead, it stores all the energy it needs for mating during its caterpillar stage. As a result, it is crucial not to disturb them during the daytime as flying requires energy needed for laying eggs. Thus, visitors are advised to be very quiet when exploring the valley.
The onset of autumn, marked by a shift in weather conditions, triggers a natural response in the species to leave their habitat in search of a suitable place to lay their eggs. The female can lay up to a hundred eggs
As far as the predators are concerned, Euplagia quadripunctaria, like many other species, has natural predators such as bats, lizards, and wasps. These predators often seek out weaker individuals and attack them.
Visitors may not fully comprehend the negative impact their actions can have on the migration of the Euplagia quadripunctaria in this region. As the primary threat to this natural process, we request that visitors be cautious and take responsibility for protecting the environment during their visit. It is essential to understand that our environment, along with many others around the world, is in danger of extinction. Therefore, we urge you to be mindful of your actions and respect the vulnerability of our ecosystem.
Don’t make noise
Don’t shake the branches
Do not disturb the species in any way
Peace and quiet is necessary for the survival of species