A butterfly zoo
is a zoo
which is specifically intended for the breeding and display of butterflies
. Some zoos do also deal animals with private customers.
exhibits were popularized in England
in the 1970s
, appealing to British love for greenhouses
and natural settings.
The first one in the United States, Butterfly World, was built in Coconut Creek, Florida, in 1988.
Butterfly Zoos are open to the public. A double-entry door is usually used to ensure that no butterflies escape.
Exploration of such zoos may be with a guide or on one's own, at leisure. Guided tours may last about fifteen minutes as the guide points out all the species of butterflies that are in the greenhouse that day (new shipments usually arrive weekly, and stocks vary). Guides may also show butterfly eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalids, and identify specific plants that are favored by each species. Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. is usually the best time to see butterflies emerging from their pupae.
Butterflies are most active on warm and sunny days with little wind, because they require the heat of the sun to aid in their digestion. On rainy days, they usually hide in the flowers and leaves.
There are often many different species in such zoos, with stock including butterflies from Africa, Malaysia, South America, Thailand, New Guinea, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and other countries. The vibrant colors and patterns on the wings of the insects have earned them the fanciful nickname, "flying flowers."
Wear a light floral perfume, and wear bright-colored or bright-white clothing, to encourage them to land upon you, but never touch a butterfly. Butterflies are attracted to a bright Hawaiian print shirt for the same reason they are attracted to flowers, but your touch will cause damage to their sensitive wings because of the oils in our skin and their easily-damaged scales.
Adult butterflies live only one to two weeks, on average, during which time they must produce a new generation. Some species like the familiar Monarch butterfly, however, can live as long as six months in the wild.
List of butterfly Zoos or gardens
- Ashland Nature Center Butterfly House, Delaware Nature Society, Hockessin, Delaware, USA
- Bioworks Butterfly Garden, Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa, Florida, USA
- Brookside Gardens, Wheaton,Maryland, USA
- Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, USA
- Butterfly Conservatory and Insect Zoo, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA
- Butterfly Garden, Bronx Zoo, Bronx, New York, USA
- Butterfly Garden, Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- Butterfly House, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
- Butterfly House, Missouri Botanical Garden, Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
- Butterfly House, Whitehouse, Ohio, USA
- Butterfly Landing, Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, Massachusetts, Massachusetts, USA
- Butterfly Pavilion & Insect Center, Westminster, Colorado, USA
- Butterfly Pavilion, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, USA
- The Butterfly Place, Westford, Massachusetts, USA
- Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia, USA
- Cockrell Butterfly Center & Insect Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas, USA
- Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Florida, USA
- Frederik Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids Township, Michigan, USA
- Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory, South Deerfield, Massachusetts, USA
- Magic Wings Butterfly House, North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Durham, North Carolina, USA
- Monsanto Insectarium, Saint Louis Zoological Park, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
- The Montgomery Zoo is constructing a butterfly house which is planned to float in the natural lake that the zoo was built on.
- Orange County Native Butterfly House, The Environmental Nature Center (Newport Beach, CA)
- Sertoma Butterfly House, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA
- Puelicher Butterfly Wing, Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
- Tradewinds Park Butterfly World, Coconut Creek, Florida, USA
- White River Gardens, Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
- The Butterfly Farm, Birmingham Zoo, Alabama, Alabama, USA
- Niagara Falls Butterly Conservatory, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
- Victoria Butterfly Gardens, Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, Canada
- Montreal Insectarium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (with annual exhibit at the Jardin botanique de Montréal)
- Wings of Paradise Butterfly Conservatory, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
- Collodi Butterfly House, Tuscany, Italy
- Magic of Life Butterfly House, Rheidol Valley, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, UK
- Seaforde Gardens and Butterfly House, Seaforde, County Down, Northern Ireland
- Schmetterlinghaus , Vienna, Austria
- Vlindertuin Dierenpark Emmen, Emmen, the Netherlands
- Vlindertuin, Knokke, Belgium
- Wroclawskie Zoo, Wroclaw, Poland
- Penang Butterfly Farm, Penang, Malaysia. Houses some 5,000 butterflies of over 120 species.
- Butterfly Park, Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore, India. 10,000 sq ft (1,000 m²) circular enclosure.
- Singapore Zoological Gardens - The Fragile Forest Enclosure (Singapore)
- Butterfly safari Park, Thenmala, Kerala (ecotourism in India)
- Butterfly garden, Wetland Park, Hong Kong.
- Butterfly garden, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong.