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17th May 2017

Hear the loudest creature in the world at Stratford Butterfly Farm!

May half term at the Butterfly Farm

Rain or shine there is something for all the family to enjoy this May half term at Stratford Butterfly Farm, UK’s largest butterfly farm. A number of new inhabitants have taken up residence including the Malaysian leaf katydid (Ancylecha fenestrata), and giant long legged katydid (Arachnacris corporalis). The name ‘katydid’ is derived from the noise made by the American species which sounds like ‘Katy-did, Katy-didn’t’. The sound producing organs are located on the back of the angles of their front wings. The giant long legged katydid is a rare species, also known as a bush cricket. It is one of the loudest creatures in the world and can be heard over 200 metres away!

Over in Minibeast Metropolis visitors will find some of the worlds' largest spiders living alongside beetles, stick insects and reptiles. Plus see the amazing leafcutter ants, (Atta cephalotes) on overhead ropes, collecting leaves to bring back to their colony. The ants use the leaves as fertiliser to grow fungus to feed the colony. The Queen spends her entire life underground laying thousands of eggs and without her the colony would not survive. The colony is now one of the largest on display in the UK and is a fantastic sight to behold.

In the wildflower garden visitors can see the refurbished wildlife hotels overlooking the pond which provide homes for bees, insects and hedgehogs. The pond itself attracts frogs and mallard ducks. Recently installed is a stunning nature inspired wall mural which is a reflection of the gardens at the Butterfly Farm. The mural was beautifully illustrated by designer Madeline Smith who also designed the new look for the Farm and the Visitor Guides. The wildflower gardens hope to be in full bloom by the end of June to the beginning of July and contains over 10 different species to attract bees and butterflies including Cornflower, Sunflower, Poppy, Oxeye Daisy, Lupin, Marigold, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Foxglove, Penstemon, Flax and Yarrow.

From 27 May - 4 June children and adults can get close to some amazing creatures with ‘Meet the Minibeast’ handling sessions under the supervision of the Education Team in the Discovery Zone. Twice a day visitors will be able to hold Madagascan hissing cockroaches, stick insects, hermit crabs, giant land snails and African millipedes.

Jane Kendrick, Marketing Manager at Stratford Butterfly Farm said “Whatever the weather you can walk amongst some of the most beautiful butterflies in a rainforest environment with waterfalls and fish-filled pools. Recently we released seven zebra finches into the flight area. These sociable and inquisitive little birds seem to bring a smile to every face!”