27 June 2024

Today, “social butterflies” at London Zoo investigated a miniature Zoo Nights billboard – a tiny but perfect-scale replica of our novel ad campaign appearing around the capital.  

Blue morpho butterfly on top of miniature UV-reactive billboard

The eye-catching insects use UV ‘messages’ on their wings – hidden to the human eye – to communicate with one another, which inspired us to work with media agencies The Kite Factory and EDIT, and specialist outdoor ad creatives BuildHollywood, to create a miniature UV Zoo Nights billboard especially for them.

The glowing billboard featured UV-reactive ink and in-built lighting components, creating a dazzling display for the rich variety of butterfly species at our Butterfly Paradise.

Butterflies can communicate using ultraviolet (UV) light, which is invisible to the human eye but easily seen by them. This communication system utilises structures on their wings to either reflect or absorb light and allows them to find mates while staying under the radar of predators.  

Butterflies at rest in Butterfly Paradise

The wings of a male Blue morpho butterfly (Morpho peleides) reflect UV light, creating a dazzling effect which alerts rival males to the butterfly’s intimidatory presence, while female butterflies can reflect UV light to attract males and initiate mating, or can signal rejection by altering her UV reflection. This sophisticated use of UV light ensures butterflies have a private and effective communication channel for both attracting mates and avoiding unwanted attention, keeping their interactions discreet and secure.

Glasswing butterfly

Visitors will be able to marvel in the spectacle of Butterfly Paradise – a walkthrough tropical haven in which butterflies fly freely overhead in the exotic environment – as part of Zoo Nights, every Friday evening at London Zoo. The conservation zoo’s limited run of evening openings serves up a unique mix of wildlife and city life, while allowing visitors to bypass the kids and crowds. Perfect for a first date, after-work catch-up or to unleash your inner child, grown-ups can explore the zoo like never before on a twilight trip through the animal kingdom.  

Zoo Nights

From 6pm every Friday evening in June and July, you're invited to enjoy an unmissable evening at London Zoo. 

Explore our world of wildlife in the heart of the city with interactive games, animal talks and The Origin of the Faeces exhibition. After you’ve worked up an appetite, discover our Wild Bites street food market serving up fantastic flavours from across the globe, with plenty of choice for herbivores and carnivores. Then grab a drink from one of our watering holes and chill out surrounded by relaxing music and our incredible animals.