Our purpose-built greenhouse is home to brightly coloured butterflies from Central and South America. The largest are the Blue Morpho and Owl butterflies, which spend a lot of time at the feeding posts sucking up sugar water and juices of fermenting fruit. Other butterflies that can be seen throughout the season include Glasswings, Malachites, Shoemakers, Swallowtails and Longwings.
Between May and September, the museum receives pupae from Stafford on Avon Butterfly Farm, which sources them from butterfly farmers working with conservation or village projects in South America. The pupae (or chrysalides) are carefully attached to canes and displayed in the purpose-built puparium. Over the course of a few days, butterflies emerge and staff release them into The Butterfly House once their wings are fully formed.
Some butterflies breed in the greenhouse, and the plants have been specially chosen to provide nectar for our butterflies and food for caterpillars. These plants include passion flowers, citrus trees, scented lantana plants and banana – which also provide shade.