The biosphere reproduces a typical rainforest ecosystem, as found in certain areas on various continents. The optimum conditions of temperature and humidity enable the development and growth of numerous tropical plants – real botanical curiosities originating in different parts of the world, which constitute the ideal habitat for the butterflies and tropical insects in the biosphere.
It affords a unique opportunity to head off in search of a patch of the tropics transplanted to the Mediterranean. Imposing specimens of Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) and Strelitzia nicolai (giant white bird of paradise), unusual species of palms such as Latania borbonica (red latan), Phoenix roebelenii (pygmy date palm), Areca lutescens (areca palm) and a giant Pandanus utilis (common screwpine) serve as the backdrop to the numerous other species of “underforest” and multicoloured blossoming flowers, orchids, hibiscus, nemesia and bougainvillea, to name but a few, on which you can marvel at the butterflies as they fly about in search of nectar.
The butterflies are accompanied by certain species of stick insects originating from tropical countries. With their spectacular camouflage abilities and techniques, unrivalled in the animal kingdom, they will challenge even the most attentive observers.
The entrance to the biosphere is preceded by a trail along which you can take note of the peculiar aspects of butterflies, with information on their life cycle and interesting facts about the significance of their eye-catching colours within the natural environment. The introductory route continues with an exhibition entitled “6-Legged Jewels”, which allows you to discover what are some of the most unusual insects on the planet (coleoptera and lepidoptera) in terms of their shapes, colours and patterns. A brief documentary concludes the museum section and takes you directly into the visit inside the biosphere.