This photo was taken in the Petaloudes Valley (Valley of the Butterflies) on the island of Rhodes. The moths are the species Panaxia Quadripunctaria, a nocturnal moth that lays its eggs in September, hatches in the spring, and is fully-grown during the summer.
Although they’re found throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, the humid climate in Petaloudes Valley makes it an ideal location for their growth and reproduction. Many of the moths migrate to this area for their reproduction cycle. The end result is almost a carpet of butterflies covering the entire forest.
The increased tourist traffic in recent decades has had negative impacts on this species, driving some of them away and leading to declines in their population. Conservation efforts are underway to try to find a better balance between tourist visitation of this area and the needs of the insects themselves. Via EarthStory