Why butterflies

Butterflies housed in tropical greenhouses around the world arrive in the form of chrysalises from tropical countries (Costa Rica, Tanzania, the Philippines, etc.).

Butterfly breeding has proven to be an effective alternative to logging. It is an activity that allows thousands of often disadvantaged people to live with the natural environment without destroying it. To breed butterflies, in fact, it is necessary to maintain the wild plants on which the caterpillars feed.

Sometimes the breeders themselves capture specimens of adult butterflies directly in the forest to improve the genetic diversity of the specimens they breed.

Various scientific publications have shown that even if direct collection removes some specimens from the environment, it has no negative ecological effects on ecosystems and butterfly populations, because it is an absolutely negligible percentage compared to the individuals present.

During the winter months, the demand for butterfly chrysalises drops dramatically, due to the seasonal closures of many exhibitions. However, farmers continue to breed and collect butterflies, exporting adult specimens in order to support their families.

Buying a butterfly is therefore not only educational, but also helps to maintain this economy, which on the one hand provides subsistence for local people, and on the other allows the rainforest to be used without it being compromised or cut down to make room for crops or farms.

Why we

Farfalle nella testa is the cooperative that among other things manages the Butterfly House in Bordano, one of the first butterfly houses to open in Italy, which continues to be among the largest and most active.

In addition, Farfalle nella testa is now the largest importer and distributor of chrysalises for butterfly houses and zoos in Italy (we work with Parco Natura Viva, MUSE, butterfly houses in Milano Marittima, Modica, Olmedo, Rome, Santorso, etc., among others).

One of our goals is to make nature education in Italy a sustainable and economically fruitful activity. At the same time, we want to bring attention and concrete help to projects that combine environmental sustainability with solidarity towards disadvantaged social groups.


Against this background, we decided to give more structure and continuity to the ethical sale of butterflies and other tropical invertebrates that we already dealt with sporadically. We therefore created 4life, so that this would no longer be just a side activity of the Butterfly House, but would become an autonomous project, living a life of its own, and independently having its own sense and utility, as much economic as ethical.

    4life manager
    scientific director