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Panaxia Quadripunctaria

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The majestic
nocturnal butterflies
of the Valley


The Panaxia Quadripunctaria (Jersey tiger moth) comes from the family of the Arctiidae. It remains in the valley from May to September each year. This butterfly is, in reality, a nocturnal moth which is probably attracted to this valley by the substances emitted from the Oriental Sweetgum Trees, as well as from the humidity created by the abundant water sources flowing in this natural landscape. These creatures use this area as their breeding ground and remain here during the summer months, so they can later on migrate to give birth to new butterflies.

The presence of the butterflies is a rare phenomenon that does not happen often in nature, so if you experience it up close, you are very lucky. The butterflies mostly sleep or rest on top of tree trunks or leaves, around the roots and on rocks next to the streaming water. If they are awoken, get ready to admire a cloud of red and yellow wings fluttering in the air! The butterflies fly independently but they do fly close to each other thus creating a stunning, colorful image.



The majestic
nocturnal butterflies
of the Valley


The Panaxia Quadripunctaria (Jersey tiger moth) comes from the family of the Arctiidae. It remains in the valley from May to September each year. This butterfly is, in reality, a nocturnal moth which is probably attracted to this valley by the substances emitted from the Oriental Sweetgum Trees, as well as from the humidity created by the abundant water sources flowing in this natural landscape. These creatures use this area as their breeding ground and remain here during the summer months, so they can later on migrate to give birth to new butterflies.

The presence of the butterflies is a rare phenomenon that does not happen often in nature, so if you experience it up close, you are very lucky. The butterflies mostly sleep or rest on top of tree trunks or leaves, around the roots and on rocks next to the streaming water. If they are awoken, get ready to admire a cloud of red and yellow wings fluttering in the air! The butterflies fly independently but they do fly close to each other thus creating a stunning, colorful image.


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PANAXIA QUADRIPUNCTARIA
An Eternal Life Cycle


Panaxia Quadripunctaria undergoes four life cycle stages before reaching its “complete metamorphosis”. This entire process can last from a month to a whole year. After that, they lay their eggs and perish. This process starts around the end of September, when the females emigrate rapidly to their primary habitats to lay their eggs, after reproducing near the end of August and the beginning of September.

Then, they go through the rest of the three life cycle stages, before migrating again to Rhodes during May, while they are in their fourth and last stage. Due to their lack of stomach, they cannot eat, thus resting is their only way of surviving until early autumn.

In June, most of the moths which live in the lower part of the Valley of Butterflies move towards the higher sections of the natural habitat until their remigration in September. The female butterflies usually rest on the upper part of the trees and the males stay lower, closer to the ground.

During the rest of the months, the Panaxia Quadripunctaria mostly sleep until late at night, so they can preserve their energy for their upcoming mating and migration process. This is reality after all, an endless cycle of life and death full of beautiful, cherished moments.

FUN FACT!

They don’t fly in groups, but as individuals!


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Respect their habitat


Nevertheless, the moth’s population is being reduced and there are plenty of factors which contribute to that, one of which is the effects of tourism. This does not mean you cannot visit the valley, but we urge you to be as discreet as possible and not do anything which may upset them. Their nonexistent stomach during mating season means that they must store their energy supplies for their migration in September and any unnecessary flying will only put a strain on them.

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DON'T
DISTURB THEM!


Remember, the moths rest during the day, so avoid making loud noises, whistling, or clapping your hands while you walk through the valley.

After all, this stunning natural biotope is their resting place during the summer months. If you are lucky, one of the butterflies could fly during the day. You will have the chance to admire the antithesis between the dark color on its body with the bright red under its wings. Who knows? They might even come closer to you, even sit on your hands! Do not chase them away, because if they approach you, it means they trust you and are attracted to your calmness.


DON'T
DISTURB THEM!


Remember, the moths rest during the day, so avoid making loud noises, whistling, or clapping your hands while you walk through the valley.

After all, this stunning natural biotope is their resting place during the summer months. If you are lucky, one of the butterflies could fly during the day. You will have the chance to admire the antithesis between the dark color on its body with the bright red under its wings. Who knows? They might even come closer to you, even sit on your hands! Do not chase them away, because if they approach you, it means they trust you and are attracted to your calmness.


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