Butterflies roost for about 14 hours each day, usually upside down and often on the underside of leaves. Some species roost on grass stems. They roost overnight and in bad weather.
I spotted this owl butterfly hanging underneath a leaf.
The greenhouse is wonderful, as you can see in the picture it isn't big, but it is lush green with all the plants overhanging the pathway. In the middle of the conservatory is a little stream and even a waterfall.
The Conservatory is over 10,000 square feet in size and the temperature ranges from 24°C(75°F) to 28°C(82°F) year round.
In the distance you can see one of the employees walking towards me. They are so very friendly and helpfull. If you have any question about the butterflies when you are there, don't hesitate to ask them, they love to tell you all about the butterflies and the conservatory.
Besides the greenhouse there are two exhibition rooms as well. I won't show any of that in my travelpage, but I do want to mention them.
The Flying Jewels exhibit room contains one of the most renowned collections of butterflies and moths in Canada.
The Incredible World of Bugs exhibit room is full of exotic species from the insect world.
I love the details in the colours on the wings of the butterflies. Isn't it just amazing!
The wings of butterflies are actually transparent. The iridescent scales, which overlap like shingles on a roof, give the wings the colors that we see.
Unlike what everyone thinks, you can hold most butterflies gently by the wings without harming the butterfly. Of course, some are more fragile than others, and are easily damaged if not handled very gently. So it's not allowed to touch the butterflies in the Butterfly Conservatory.
Butterflies are cold-blooded insects which means they take the temperature from the air around them. In order to fly, their body temperature needs to be between 30-35°C (85-100°F)
Butterflies heat up by basking in the sun with their wings open, and they also absorb heat from warm rocks and bare ground. In the conservatory I could find the most butterflies in the sunny areas and only a few in the shady part of the garden. Hahaha, it meant that I got boiling hot, but they seem to enjoy this tropical heat a lot. Butterflies control how much warmth they're getting by slowly opening and closing their wings.
Did you know that a butterfly in flight can flap its wings up to 100 times a minute? No wonder they need high energy fuel like nectar. They don't waste their energy supplies and can often be seen resting between flights with their wings held still.
The whole Conservatory is filled with tropical plants and beautiful flowers. Of course the butterflies love them. I think that these wonderful flowers add so much to the charm of this Butterfly Conservatory. There are a few artificial feeders around for the butterfly, but the butterflies seem to prefer the flowers. I don't like those artificial plastic feeders, it makes it all so unnatural. The flowers make the Conservatory into a beautiful place, and I think the butterflies agree with me when I say that :-)
Did you know that all butterflies have six legs and feet? In this photo you can see it clearly, as it has three legs on the one side, hahaha, and I assume it has three on the other side as well ;-) But it's not always that easy to spot all the legs. Some species keep their front pair of legs tucked up under the body, and that makes it difficult to see all of them.
This mouse is actually not supposed to be here, hahaha, but it looks so cute! Hahaha, and I am not the only crazy one that thought so :-) A few more people tried to take a picture of this cute little mouse.
The mice seem to have found a spot where they can enter the greenhouse and they are attracted by the food for the birds. Don't worry though, there are only a few of them around ;-)
This is a Gouldian Finch. I don't know why they have these birds at the Butterfly Conservatory, maybe for the same reason as the quails. But it is wonderful to spot them flying free through the conservatory and sitting in the tops of the many tropical plants or like this one searching for some birdfood on the ground.
Now this little quail didn't want to pose for the camera. Hahaha, it walked away every time I was ready to take it's picture. It was looking for food underneath the plants and it was quite dark to take pictures here. But I finally I did manage to get a picture of the quail :-)
The quails are in the conservatory to keep the ground free from ants and other insects. They also eat the dead butterflies as a source of food.
Did you know that butterflies don't have mouths that allow them to bite or chew? Butterflies don't have jaws so all their food must be liquid. They have a hollow tongue, called a proboscis, which they use to suck up their food, nectar and juices. It's a bit like drinking through a straw. When not in use, the proboscis remains coiled like a garden hose.
Their antennae are club-shaped, like a baseball bat, and they use them to smell and help keep their balance. And as you can see in the photo, it's amazing how they can balance, even on a delicate flower like this.
I am not an expert on butterflies, I just love to see them. So I hope I have found the right names for the butterflies on this page.
This is the Zebra Longwing Butterfly (Heliconius charitonia). The zebra longwing has elongated, black wings with yellow stripes, a thin abdomen and long antennae. The butterfly's brilliant colors serve as a warning to predators of it's nauseating taste if eaten. The diet of the longwing larvae consists entirely of passion flowers.
Zebra butterflies seem to be the most intelligent of butterflies and have a structured social life. The zebra longwings sleep in groups and return to the same roost every night. The oldest butterflies seem to have first choice at sleeping perches. At dawn the first butterfly up wakes the others by gently touching them.
This flying insect lives in tropical areas of southern North America, the West Indies, Central America, and northern South America.
Hahaha, it's actually not so easy to take a good picture of a butterfly as it might seem. They never want to sit still and pose for the picture ;-)
I have to figure out still what kind of butterfly this is... so if anyone knows... please let me know! The same goes for all the other butterflies on this page that I don't know the name of.
This butterfly was hard to spot as it was hanging on the stem of a tree low to the ground in a dark corner. That was what was so great in the butterfly conservatory as well; the more I looked around the more butterflies I could see. Some had bright colours and others, like this one, had more mimicry and were harder to find.
the Owl Butterfly (Caligo memnon memnon) has a big spot for defense. When the butterfly spreads its wings, the two eyes look like an Owl's face. Little birds that eat butterflies get eaten by owls, so they fly away from the scary butterfly.
You can find these butterflies widespread throughout South America, from Argentina up to Surinam.
'Enjoy beautiful parrots and other feathered friends as they showcase their incredible intelligence and natural abilities.'