What is a butterfly house?
The Butterfly House is a specially constructed and publicly accessible ecosystem that simulates the natural conditions for the healthy and active life of exotic butterflies.
This is a tourist attraction that allows visitors to see hundreds of live specimens up close - butterflies from the rainforests of South America, Mexico, Thailand, the Philippines, sub-Saharan Africa, and other regions. The species present rank among the most beautiful butterflies in the world, some with a wingspan of up to 20 cm!
The Butterfly House as a great tourist attraction
Visiting the Butterfly House is a hands-on tour. There are no barriers between the visitors and butterflies in the Butterfly House. Exotic butterflies have no innate fear of humans, and so they are not stressed whatsoever by their presence. On the contrary, they interact well and often quite directly with the visitors (e.g. they land on a guest with bright-coloured clothing, butterflies are also attracted by the fragrance of fruity perfumes, etc.).
Thanks to this, the Butterfly House follows the current trends and times that are oriented towards social media and the on-line sharing of experiences. The concept of Papilonia corresponds with the demand for hands-on tours, in which visitors have the chance to actively interact with the tourist attraction. The opportunity of taking a “selfie” with a live specimen or to photograph live animals up close is a desired added value that Papilonia fulfils at its very core.
Until now, all operations of butterfly houses required natural daylight streaming through the ceiling. No scientific research has ever been carried out that would treat the effect of artificial light on the lives of exotic butterflies in terms of light intensity, the light spectrum, the colour rendering index, and other factors.
However, the necessity of sunlight streaming through the ceiling represents a range of limitations and disadvantages for European butterfly houses:
- The selection of the location for realisation is strictly limited to premises where sunlight can be led through the ceiling.
- The presence of daylight necessarily means a partial or complete dependency on the weather, which, among other things, determines the activity of the butterflies (the changing intensity of sun rays, the markedly shortened opening hours in the winter, etc.).
- The energy requirements for maintaining year-round operations in climatically unsuitable regions are high (exotic butterflies need constant and exactly defined conditions for life no matter the fact that the outdoor temperatures significantly change with each season).
Projects of the Competition
On the global scale, the butterfly house that uses artificial lighting is a completely unique concept. According to our sources, exhibitions of exotic butterflies using artificial lighting exist only in three locations in the USA as part of municipal galleries or museums. Not one of these cases is a completely commercial butterfly house.
And it is also worth mentioning that the facilities in question light the flight zone with halogen lights. Papilonia uses economical LED technology, provably as the only one in the whole world.
However, you can certainly consider the following businesses as your competition:
Dozens of “traditional” butterfly houses in Europe (in contrast to the Papilonia concept and for reasons of the given limitations, these almost exclusively function as solitary attractions in parts of town, shopping, or entertainment centres, etc. that are not high-profile), e.g..:
- Bornholm (Denmark)
- Collodi (Italy)
- Johnsdorf (Germany)
seasonal (limited in time) exhibitions of exotic butterflies in individual ZOOs or botanical gardens, e.g.:
- The Fata Morgana Greenhouse in Prague (the exhibit lasts approx. a month and a half from April to May each year)
- The Pilsen ZOO (exhibit of butterfly species only coming from the Philippines)
- ZOO Budapest or ZOO Wrocław