This tropical paradise is filled with butterflies of various colors and sizes from all over the world. The 100-foot-by-50-foot glass atrium was originally the first major walk-through butterfly habitat in the western United States when it opened in 1988. Inside you’ll find some 500 free-flying butterflies of up to 50 different species. This popular attraction has been named by many as their favorite place to visit when they come to the park!
There are about 15,000 to 20,000 known species of butterflies found worldwide and many yet to be discovered. At the park, you may find swallowtails and birdwings, brightly colored, or camouflaged among the plants. Some might be challenging to spot, as butterflies can be as small as 1/2 of an inch but can also be as large as 11 inches.
Butterflies are very colorful and can be yellow, orange, purple, white, black, and many other colors. Since they can see a wider range of colors including ultra-violet and infrared light, the world through their eyes is even more vibrant and colorful than it is to us humans. They also have tiny taste receptors on the tips of their feet.
The journey to becoming a butterfly is always an inspiring tale. There are four cycles of the butterfly’s life. They start out as an egg, and then hatch into a larva called the caterpillar. They then become a pupa that is called a chrysalis, and finally emerge as an adult butterfly free to spread their wings and fly. In the Butterfly Habitat, there is a standalone display with pupa ready to hatch.
By visiting the Butterfly Habitat, we hope you’ll gain a greater appreciation for butterflies and their place in the world’s ecosystems. Before you leave though, remember to check your clothing for any hitchhikers!