Papilio Ulysses

Bits and Bugs



 The framed butterfly and bug specimens are aesthetically appealing, creating a simple but beautiful splash of colour that showcases the beauty of nature. They look striking as just a single focal point and look equally appealing with a cluster of specimens grouped together or running along a wall. The specimens are the perfect decor for a child's bedroom or classroom.


The Papilio Ulysses frame measures 15cm x 15cm with the butterfly specimen taking up the majority of the interior space (each specimen's exact size will vary). 


Butterflies tend to feature prominently in children’s decor. They appear in paintings, on wall stickers and on pillows and blankets. This seems to be due to the symbolism attached to butterflies. They represent growth, transformation and revelation. These are all traits that apply to childhood. The little caterpillar supports its growth by hungrily devouring leaves, just as the child’s development is prompted by his or her thirst for experiences and exploration. When the caterpillar is ready for the greatest period of transformation it is encased in the safety of the cocoon, just as the family and school provide safe, protective environments in which the child can transform. When the cocoon starts to open a beautiful butterfly stretches its wings and begins to fly, just as the child reaches a time when he or she is ready to soar through the skies independently. So the symbolism is certainly appropriate, and butterflies are beautiful, and these particular example provide one final piece of the puzzle; they are real. The Montessori philosophy strongly promotes connecting the young child with reality - and with true, concrete examples before abstract representations. It therefore seems ideal to decorate the child’s environment with real butterflies rather than just illustrations of them. 


The framed specimens are perfect for supporting your studies of entomology. They provide a ‘point of interest’ to inspire the child’s natural curiosity about insects. They are so carefully prepared and placed that they are very clear and easy to examine. The frame and window casing ensures that they can be examined time and time again, or by many children, without damaging the specimen. 


Your studies of insects and butterflies can be supported with a range of other resources, including models, books and puzzles. We offer the following resources that could support your child’s explorations of insects…




All of the beautiful colours and patterns of the specimens are entirely natural. The specimens are not dyed or enhanced in any way. The completely natural colours are rich, striking and visually appealing. Children and adults alike will be impressed by the incredible beauty that nature creates. 


Part of the wonder of the natural world is the balance of harmony and individuality. On the one hand, each creature in the species is connected to its relatives by consistently identifiable colours and patterns. Yet each individual will have its own special characteristics or imperfections that make it unique. Each specimen you order will be unique in its size and appearance and we ask you to please embrace any subtle imperfections as an example of the authenticity and beauty of nature. 


The specimens are carefully framed by skilled artisans using the most careful processes and quality materials. The professional mounting and solid backing means that the specimens should not be lifted from the backboard.


All of our Butterfly and Bug specimens are ethically and conscientiously sourced and prepared. Specimens are only provided for common and abundant insect species from government regulated sources . Our supplier does not trade with rare, endangered or protected species so you can purchase these beautiful specimens knowing that you are not causing any detriment to the environment. In fact, the trade of these ethically-sourced specimens actually ensure the continued health of those species by encouraging farmers to maintain the plants that attract the insects. 


The eco-friendly contributions continue with the framing and packaging of the Butterfly and Bug specimens. The frames are made of a timber substitute, not real wood, because of the supplier’s ethical concerns about deforestation. The packaging that houses the frames, a lovely little corrugated cardboard box, is made from recycled materials! So this is an all-around eco-ethical item. 


Please note: our supplier advises that, if properly cared for, the specimens will last in their current, beautiful state for many years. One piece of maintenance that can prolong their longevity is to keep an eye out for ‘book lice’. These are tiny, almost imperceptible bugs that can be attracted to the deceased insect specimens. If you notice black dust gathering in your frame then it could mean book lice have snuck in. If this occurs then simply place the frame into the fridge for 72 hours, which will humanely end the lifetimes of the book lice. The framed specimens can also be protected by keeping them out of direct sunlight and in low-humidity areas.