Minibeast Metropolis

Minibeast Metropolis is teeming with life and houses one of the largest insect collections in the UK. It is also home to snakes, reptiles, amphibians and other invertebrates. Come and see these fascinating creatures up close!
  • Giant Prickly Stick InsectGiant Prickly Stick Insect
The Latest News from Minibeast Metropolis
New arrivals in the Metropolis!

At Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm we regularly change the exhibits to make things different for  returning visitors. There are a variety of species that we keep off show so that we can vary and rotate our displays.

Latest Arrival in Minibeast Metropolis!

Pumpkin Patch Tarantula
  • Pumpkin Patch TarantulaPumpkin Patch Tarantula

Hapalopus sp. 

Originating from the rainforests of the Pacific Coast of Columbia. They are a small species with females growing only to about 6 or 7cm.

They will dig shallow burrows and coat them with web through which they can feel the subtle vibrations created by a moving prey animal. They can tell the size of the prey through these vibrations and judge whether or not to strike,

They have a mild venom and rarely show aggression. Like most animals they would much rather flee from a threat than risk injury to them selves.

They are known for their bright orange and deep black colouration giving them their name pumpkin patch!

Conservation Status - NE Not Elevated

Please find below some of the other creatures currently on display in Minibeast Metropolis!

Medicinal Leeches
  • Medicinal LeechesMedicinal Leeches

Hirudo medicinalis

Medicinal leeches are a type of parasitic worm. They are hematophagous, which means they attach onto a host animal and feed on their blood!

They secrete an anticoagulant which prevents the blood from clotting whilst they feed. Medical leeches grow up to 20cm and are the only known species in the UK to feed on human blood, though they do prefer cattle, birds and amphibians.

Once a common sight across Europe they are now quite rare due to overuse in medicine. Conservation efforts are now underway to restore their wild population. 

Conservation Status - NT Near Threatened.

Dyeing Poison Arrow Frogs!
  • Dying Poison Arrow FrogDying Poison Arrow Frog

Dendrobates tinctorius matecho

These little frogs originate from French Guiana and get their name from the misconception that natives used to use the brightly coloured frogs to dye fabric.

They are a bold, vibrant frog, yellow on the back and blue on the legs and can grow up to two inches long, making it one of the largest species of poison frogs. True to their name, poison frogs are among the most toxic animals on Earth!

Conservation Status - LC Least Concern.

  • AxolotlAxolotl

Ambystoma mexicanum

Axolotls are found only in two small lakes near Mexico City.

Axolotls are a type of salamander that does not fully develop into an adult form and retains juvenille features such as external gills and a large flat tail.

Whislt they are critically endangered in the wild they are common palce in animal collections due to them being easy to breed in captivity.

They are ambush predators that lie in wait for small invertabrates to swim past and then strike with great speed. Axolotls are typically brown, but a variety of colours and patterns do occur in the wild.

Conservation status - CR Critically Endangered

Rhinoceros Rat Snake

Gonyosoma boulengeri

Rhino Rat Snakes are native to Northern Vietnam and Sothern China.

They are non-venomous and feed on lizards, small mammals and fish.

Scientists are not sure why they have a protrusion on their snout. It maybe help them camouflage like a leaf or could help their entry into the water as they catch fish.

They are arboreal snakes meaning they are often found high up in the trees. They are excellent climbers and use their long muscular body to move from branch to branch.

Conservation Status - LC Least Concern

  • Rhinoceros Rat Snake Hatching Rhinoceros Rat Snake Hatching
  • Rhinoceros Rat Snake HatchlingRhinoceros Rat Snake Hatchling
  • Adult Rhinoceros Rat SnakeAdult Rhinoceros Rat Snake

During 2021 our breeding pairs of Rhinoceros Rat Snakes managed to successfully produce brand new offspring!

The Rhino Rat Snakes on display in the first section of Minibeast Metropolis hatched in August 2021 after incubating for two months.

For the first two years they remain a silvery grey colour before turning a beautiful bright green.

Their parents are on display in the second section of Minibeast Metropolis.


Giant African Millipede

Archispirostreptus gigas

Milipedes belong to the Arthropod family and are native to Central Africa.

Arthropods are characterised by their segmented bodies and many pairs of legs.

They have two pairs of legs per segment whereas centipedes only have one pair per segement.

Thier eyesight is very poor and they rely on their sense of touch and smell to navigate the forest floor and find food in the form of decaying wood leaves and plant matter.

Amimals with this diet are called detritivores.

Conservation Status - NE Not Evaluated