We have imported nearly 2,000 butterflies from Florida, Texas and Costa Rica for our annual Festival of Butterflies. The conservatory is filled with their favorite nectar plants and set with high humidity to mimic the climate of subtropical Florida & Texas as well as the tropical rain forest of Costa Rica. Five hundred butterflies are in flight at any given time from now through Sunday, August 17. A wonderful array of interpretive and fun activities greatly enhance the experience of a visit during the Festival of Butterflies this Friday (Aug. 15) – Sunday (Aug. 17). The butterflies will remain on public display in the conservatory after the Festival of Butterflies for limited hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) from Monday August 18, through Sunday, August 24.
The Erato Heliconian imported from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas is even a rare sight in the wild there. It is a perennial favorite butterfly in the conservatory and often nectars on the bright orange blooms of Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) depicted.
An Erato Heliconian with its wings closed, just finished sipping nectar from the Mexican Sunflower.
Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) is the star attraction in the conservatory. This is a female sunning herself on the floor. Morphos usually land with their wings closed. Their bright iridescent blue wings, buoyant flight and friendly behavior (often landing on visitors’ shirts or hats) make them the favorite butterfly in the conservatory.