Giant Butterfly Lands at Stratford Attraction

Stratford Butterfly Farm is now home to a striking Queensland Birdwing

Stratford Butterfly Farm is now home to a striking Queensland Birdwing

THERE is a colourful new arrival at a south Warwickshire attraction.

Stratford Butterfly Farm is now home to a striking Queensland Birdwing, which has an impressive 22cm wingspan and is one of the biggest varieties of butterfly in the world.

The first butterfly at the farm in Swan’s Nest Lane, Stratford, hatched last week and has seen people flocking to the farm to see it. Already measuring about 17cm across, the butterfly is expected to continue growing.

Richard Lamb, manager at the butterfly farm, said: “We haven’t had this species of butterfly at the farm for about 10 years so this is quite exciting for us.

“We had a three week wait for this one to hatch and we are still waiting for the other nine butterflies to hatch, so we should see those starting to appear over the next few days. It is quite an exciting time here.”

This is the first time in more than a decade the Australian butterfly, also known as Ornithoptera Priamus, has emerged in the UK and having spent weeks trying to sort out the licence for the butterflies, staff at the Stratford farm have eagerly waited almost three weeks for the exotic creature to hatch.

The butterfly is found mainly in northern Australia and in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Its name derives from it’s exceptional size, angular wings and birdlike flight.

The male Queensland Birdwings are black and green while the female butterflies, which are black and yellow, grow to be the largest – sometimes seeing their wingspan reach up to 27cm.

Mr Lamb added: “The species are always of this large size but it has been a long time since we have had any butterflies here like this, and of this size. They are a jungle species so they need to be kept at 26C all the time and at 80 per cent humidity.”

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