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How we source our entomology

As with any responsible company that deals with the sale of natural history and wildlife we want to ensure that the pieces we sell do not have a negative impact on our natural environment. 

Below is a short statement on how we source our butterflies and insects and you can find further links and scientific report below. 

Here at The Weird & Wonderful we have worked with natural history and wildlife stock for over 10 years. All of our products are sourced to the highest standards to ensure that they bring not only beauty, but education to your lives.
Our butterflies and insects are sourced through conservation farming efforts around the world which, backed by science*, has a proven history of sustainability. As well as having no negative ecological effects, entomology farming can also prevent our precious rainforests being destroyed for more tradtional farming methods, such as cattle and palm oil.
No insects are killed for the purpose of our frames and for more information please see below. 

 *See references at the bottom of this page.

More detailed information:

How do you source your butterflies?

We work with several specialist entomology wholesalers in the UK and Europe. They ensure that all the insects that come to us have the proper import/export permits, any required licenses and are free of pest and mites. 

Many of our butterflies and insects come from “conservation farming” schemes in tropical rainforest areas. These schemes encourage locals to preserve their rainforest by using their natural surroundings to breed insects. The butterflies live out their natural lifespan while in these farms. 

Is butterfly farming sustainable?

A single female butterfly can lay between 250 and 500 eggs in her lifetime, so very few female butterflies are required to start captive populations.

After starting a population, there is really only need to return to the wild occasionally to find wild males to ensure the captive population has a good genetic diversity. 

Thus, the reproductive capacity of butterflies ensures there the very limited extraction of wild butterflies by the farmers will have no effect on the health of the wild population.

The primary cause of butterfly extinction is habitat destruction, and by providing and economic incentive to conserve butterfly habitat, these schemes help to conserve butterfly populations along with all the other amazing biodiversity found in tropical rainforests.

Butterflies can live their entire natural life in these rainforest farms, and produce many eggs for the next generation away from natural predators. In the wild, less than 7% of butterfly eggs will survive to adulthood. While in captive breeding programs butterfly farms achieve 70%-90% survival rates.

These farms release up to 20% of all the generation back into the wild helping to preserve the insects in their natural habitat.

Are the butterflies killed for framing?

Short answer: No!

Butterflies typically live for around 4 weeks. The longest being the Monarch which can live for up to 12 months while some species only live for 1-2 days.

Once a butterfly has hatched from it's pupae (changed from a caterpillar into a butterfly) it's sole purpose is to reproduce. Some species even transform with no way of feeding! The butterfly will find a nice spot to lay it's eggs and then it's journey is complete.

As there life span is naturally short there is no incentive to kill them before they have layed their eggs. And the farmers need the eggs to ensure they have a sustainable supply of future generations of insects. 


Further reading:

Insect farmers help conserve East African forests

Implementing a butterfly farm: Iwokrama reserve’s latest sustainable initiative

Biodiversity and Sustainable Development of Butterfly Production


The Role of Butterfly Farming in Forest Conservation and Community Development In Kenya

Harnessing Butterfly Biodiversity for Improving Livelihoods and Forest Conservation: The Kipepeo Project

How Butterfly Farmers Are Safeguarding the Forest in Kenya

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