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Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 10:22 UK
Rare butterfly successfully bred
Heliconius chestertonni
The butterfly can live for up to nine months

A breeding project at a Hertfordshire conservation centre has produced hundreds of rare tropical butterflies from just seven pupae.

The Heliconius chestertonni were bred by butterfly expert Clive Farrell at Butterfly World near St Albans.

Mr Farrell was given the pupae by a friend who could no longer look after them due to heating costs.

The pupae all hatched, revealing two pairings which are thought to be the only ones of their kind in Europe.

The butterflies have blue iridescent wings with yellow bands and are originally from the mountains of Colombia.

They live up to nine months in ideal conditions, compared with the typical two weeks for most butterflies.

The breeding of the butterfly marks the second stage of a £25m project at Chiswell Green, Hertfordshire, to build the world's largest centre for butterfly conservation.

In pictures: Butterfly World
06 May 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Work begins on butterfly project
18 Jun 08 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Centre to aid butterflies' plight
12 Mar 08 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts



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