Butterfly of Rhodes (Panaxia Quadripunctaria)
A large number of butterflies belonging to this species gather in the summer (from June to September) in the area of the Butterfly Valley, as well as the broader region of Mount Profitis Elias. Their concentration in the area is due to the forests of oriental sweetgum (Liquidambar orientalis), which is quite similar to the plane tree: the aromatic bark of oriental sweetgum and the type of resin or ‘liquid amber’ it produces, known since antiquity for its properties in scent-making, is believed to be the reason why butterflies prefer this region.
They become fertilised in September and migrate in October, always at night, moving individually and not in groups. They lay their eggs on various plants and then die. After winter has passed and, more specifically, during the subsequent May, the caterpillars transform into butterflies; then, in mid-June, they once again migrate to Butterfly Valley.