Amazing Butterflies of National Park “Russian North”

The Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve has been cooperating with the National Park “Russian North” for many years, holding exhibitions and popularizing the monuments of nature, history and culture located in the Kirillov district.

The National Park “Russian North” was founded in March 1992 to preserve the historical, cultural, architectural and natural heritage of the region.

A lot of animals, birds and insects inhabit its area. Many of them are included in the Red Data Book of the Vologda region and the Russian Federation. The new exhibition presenting over 50 photos is about butterflies inhabiting the Kirillov district. It has been prepared by the employees of the National Park “Russian North” and the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve.

People admired beauty and grace of butterflies from time immemorial. Undoubtedly, the most beautiful species inhabit warm southern countries, but among several thousand species that can be found in Russia, many have their own beauty and grace. Butterflies are among the most amazing insects not least because they have more than several thousand markings.

The importance of butterflies in nature extends further than only their beauty. They have a certain place in the food webs of animals and human economic activities. In the food webs, day-flying species of butterflies are especially important for birds that feed on them. As for human economic activities, butterflies, to be more exact their caterpillars, are pests of orchard and garden crops, but on a smaller scale in comparison with beetles. Caterpillars of the day-flying butterflies of the family Pieridae, first of all, the Large White (also called Cabbage Butterfly or Cabbage White), are the main pests in the north.

Such interesting species of butterflies as the Apollo (named after Apollo – the god of beauty in Greek mythology) and the Old World Swallowtail (distributed almost all over Russia) inhabit the area of the national park. Everybody knows the Black-veined White that can be found in large quantities in our district on warm summer days. One of the most beautiful butterflies is the European Peacock. The origin of its Russian name is connected with distinctive, black, blue and yellow eyespots at the wingtips.

Many butterflies have very interesting and original names. For example, the Latin name of the Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) is derived from Machaon – a figure in Greek mythology, a son of Asclepius who was known as a doctor and a warrior at the same time. The Old World Swallowtail is rightly considered to be the most beautiful butterfly in Europe.

It is impossible to mention and to tell about all butterflies inhabiting the area of the national park. Therefore coming to the museum, visitors will be able to see these amazing insects on the photos.

Y.A. Lebedeva, head of the Exposition and Exhibition Department

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