The research activities of Farfalle nelle testaFor some years now, Farfalle nella testa has been fruitfully collaborating with academic institutions, especially the University of Trieste and the University of Udine, thus opening up to a new exciting field, that of scientific research. Today, our greenhouses prove to be not only places where visitors can admire the butterflies and other animals that are guests of the facility, but also living laboratories for scientific exploration, where we try to shed light on the intricate connections between living beings, including man.The Butterfly House, but also other facilities run by the cooperative, thus becomes a bridge between environmental education and scientific research. The research staff has expertise in countless topics related to the life sciences (zoology, ecology, physiology, ethology, conservation biology, psychiatry and evolutionary psychology) and accompanies, alongside university lecturers, the students in their scientific research activities.Students and our team then share, through social channels and guided tours, their research and curiosities in an accessible and engaging way. Through science and environmental education, the butterfly house becomes a place where curiosity and knowledge come together, bringing the public closer to science and encouraging a deeper awareness and interest in biodiversity and its conservation. 
    research manager
    scientific director

Dissertations already carried out

In this study, we wanted to recreate, for educational purposes, a model of a biosphere in which to rear larvae of the scarab beetle Protaetia speciosissima. The biosphere is a ‘closed’ ecosystem that contains all the elements for life to develop without the need for what is outside, excluding light.

The biospheres designed and studied were aimed at reproducing a microenvironment in which the inorganic substrate, humidity, plant component and nutrient for the larvae (in the form of decomposed organic matter) were optimally balanced to ensure the survival through the various developmental stages of this insect up to the adult. This project involves the breeding of a native species so that the adults can be released into the wild once they emerge.

The term ‘puddling’ in lepidoptera refers to a behaviour observed in many species of butterflies in tropical, warm-temperate but also high-altitude mountainous regions. This behaviour consists of the consumption of substances rich in mineral salts, often found particularly in wet or damp sediments, mainly by males. The nutrients consumed during puddling can be transferred to partners during mating or used to strengthen their general health.

In the research work carried out, the relationship between the duration of puddling, the age of the specimen and certain environmental parameters was investigated in more detail, looking for possible correlations between these variables.

Current dissertations

Thesis in progress

Thesis in progress.

Thesis in progress.


In collaboration with the Laboratory of Animal Cognition (LAC) of the University of Trieste

This research was carried out for two years by students from the Laboratory of Animal Cognition (L.A.C.). The aim of this activity was to explore the potential learning abilities in a ‘one-trial’ context of some greenhouse butterflies. One-trial’ learning refers to the ability to learn and remember information crucial for survival even after a single exposure to the stimulus/situation. (University of Trieste – student: Emanuela Esposito and Caterina Nascimben, lecturer: Prof. Cinzia Chiandetti).