The Butterfly Cottage

Available for Group Tours and Families!

The Butterfly Cottage is a seasonal live exhibit of local, native butterflies. Whether you are interested in gardening to attract more butterflies to your yard, or just want to learn more about these amazing creatures, we will customize your tour to suit your needs.

Garden clubs, school groups, church groups, families…all are welcome! Don’t forget to bring your camera or phone…it is a great photo op and you will want to capture these memories of a lifetime. We are fully handicapped accessible and all are welcome!

Butterfly Basics

Butterflies are insects. They have 3 body parts: a head, thorax (middle part) and abdomen (tail end). They also have 6 legs and 4 wings.

Their large eyes are made of hundreds of tiny lenses. They can’t see in detail but can detect shapes, colour and movement. They can see ultraviolet light and so see flowers very differently to humans!

A butterfly’s tongue is called a proboscis. They uncurl it like a long straw to suck up food including nectar and fruit juices. They use their long feelers (antennae) to sniff out food and other butterflies.

Butterflies wings are often colourful to attract other butterflies or warn predators that they are poisonous. The wings of a butterfly are covered in tiny scales. They create the patterns and colours seen on their wings.

Butterflies don’t have noses. Instead, they taste and smell food using their legs and feet. The butterflies in our tropical house prefer to feed on rotting, rather than fresh fruit as it’s full of mushy juices! Butterflies sometimes gather to drink from puddles.

The life cycle of a butterfly has 4 stages: egg, caterpillar, pupa and adult butterfly. butterfly life cycle After hatching, a caterpillar eats a lot and grows quickly, shedding their skin as they get bigger. They can increase in size more than 3000 times! After about 2 weeks, the caterpillar stops eating and finds a sheltered spot to become a pupa. The pupa is also called a chrysalis. It protects the caterpillar as it goes through an amazing process to change into a butterfly.

Quick Facts:

  • A group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope.
  • There are 17,500 different species of butterflies, and 750 of those live in the US.
  • Butterflies can be found everywhere except the Antarctic.
  • A Skipper Butterfly can fly 37 mph
  • The eye spots on butterflies scare off their predators.
  • Butterflies don’t sleep like humans do, but many types will rest in groups called “roosting.”