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x0x Delicate, elegant, romantic Butterfly

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    [See more at: http://turkradio.us/kelebek ] x0x Delicate, elegant, romantic Butterfly By ALI IHSAN GOKCEN Symbolizing elegant beauty, butterflies have made
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 14, 2006
      [See more at: http://turkradio.us/kelebek ]

      x0x Delicate, elegant, romantic Butterfly


      Symbolizing elegant beauty, butterflies have made
      Turkey, especially Fethiye and the Kackar Mountains,
      their home.

      With their delicate bodies and brilliant colors,
      butterflies go hand in hand with days of sunshine and
      fields of wild flowers. What is it that gives them
      their spellbinding beauty? Their wings, of course,
      which seem to consist of brightly colored dust. In fact
      it is not dust at all but scales that look like grains
      of dust. These scales distinguish butterflies from
      other insects as the `scaly-winged order', one of the
      largest insect groups with 150,000 species. Among
      themselves they are divided into two groups, diurnal
      and nocturnal, which are easily distinguished: while
      butterflies hold their wings vertically, moths flatten
      them against the surface on which they are resting
      their bodies.


      Butterflies are found in all regions of Turkey. But if
      you want to see a lot of different species all
      concentrated in one place, you need to go to their
      favorite haunts--rural areas with plenty of flowers,
      sun, humidity and sources of water. The Kackar
      Mountains are a butterfly paradise in this sense. Their
      southern slopes and valleys in particular, with their
      low level of rainfall, humidity and wind, constitute
      Turkey's most important butterfly habitat. Indeed, over
      a hundred different species were identified here in the
      valleys and meadows around the Barhal river--an
      extraordinary number when we consider that there are
      around 345 species of butterfly living in Turkey. And
      when we consider that there are around 500 species of
      butterfly in all of Europe, it is readily apparent how
      rich Turkey is in this fauna.


      The area of Turkey most popular for its butterflies is
      without doubt the Valley of the Butterflies at Fethiye.
      This secluded paradise, accessible by sea, with a
      narrow 250 meter coastline lined by over 300 meters of
      undulating walls of limestone, is a major touristic

      The most popular butterfly of the valley, which is a
      habitat for around 30 varieties of moths and
      butterflies, is the Tiger Butterfly (Emplagia
      quadripunctaria). In this special spot, where the
      butterfly population is at its most dense in July and
      August, you can enjoy an unforgettable holiday in
      communion with nature. Despite having been taken under
      protection by CITES (the International Commercial
      Convention on Species Threatened with Extinction), the
      Apollon butterfly (Parnassius apollo), another of
      Turkey's most precious, is under threat owing mainly to
      loss of habitat and capture by traders.


      But butterflies are not encountered only in low-lying
      meadows; mountains too are butterfly habitats. The rich
      diversity of flowers and plentiful water in the Alpine
      highlands make them a haven for butterflies. The most
      impressive story concerning the hardiness of these
      delicate-winged creatures is that of the migration of
      the Monarch species. Starting out from Canada in the
      autumn, millions of these butterflies migrate 3200
      kilometers to Mexico, where their journey ends on a
      mountain slope covered in volcanic rocks. Eating
      nothing during the entire winter, the butterflies
      return to Canada by the same route after mating in


      The life span of this elegant group of creatures with
      the most stunning colors in the insect world is not, as
      is commonly supposed, limited to a few days. Some
      species may live two or three months.

      Cold-blooded, butterflies rely on solar energy and
      therefore cannot fly in an environment whose
      temperature is below 12-13 degrees C. Consequently they
      are only seen on warm, sunny days. In the evening hours
      when the air begins to cool, they usually take refuge
      on the undersides of leaves or flowers where they spend
      the night. They spend the long, cold winter months
      generally as larvae, chrysalises or caterpillars, in
      the hollows of trees or beneath leaves on the forest

      Butterflies take completely different forms in the
      various stages of their lives. The young that emerge
      from larvae as caterpillars may be either vegetarian or
      carnivorous. Caterpillars in the first stage of their
      lives, butterflies later metamorphose from a cocoon or

      The reason butterflies flit from flower to flower is
      that they obtain nourishment by sucking the nectar of
      flowers through a tube in their mouths. Bearing pollen
      as they flutter from flower to flower, butterflies aid
      in the fertilization of plants. Besides performing an
      important function, these romantic flights by nature's
      most romantic and beautiful creatures are also a source
      of delight for humans.

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