Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory
At any given time, at least 2000 free-flying tropical butterflies and moths are on exhibit in the tropical Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. All of the butterflies and moths originate in either Costa Rica or the Philippines. Most are sent weekly as pupae (also called chrysalides(butterflies) or cocoons(moths)) from butterfly farmers. Butterfly farming is a sustainable form of agriculture and ensures that natural populations of wild butterflies and moths are not depleted. At the Emergence Window, visitors can watch as butterflies emerge from their chrysalides, dry their wings and prepare for their very first flight into our Conservatory. Some butterfly species are reared onsite so that visitors can observe all four of the stages of metamorphosis: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and butterfly. The population of butterflies and moths consists of approximately 40 different species.
The butterfly pictured above is the Emerald Swallowtail, also known as the Banded Peacock or Emerald Peacock. It is native to the primary forests of southeast Asia. This species gets its name from the bright emerald green band that runs across each of its dark greenish-black wings. The underside is black with orange and white spots along the hindwing edges. A wing span of 10 cm classifies the Emerald Swallowtail a medium to large sized butterfly.
The caterpillar of this species feeds on food plants in the rue and citrus family, Rutaceae.
For many years the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory was know as Wings of Paradise.
Where: 2500 Kossuth Road Cambridge
When: Open 7 days a week
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
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