Long Island's Exhibition Center - Butterflies Feeding On Fruit At Feeding Station | Riverhead, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Artist's Description

Thousands of butterflies from all over the world now inhabit this overgrown, tropical garden, situated in a Victorian courtyard. Some flutter and flit from flower to flower, sipping nectar, while others enjoy feeding on fruit at several secluded feeding stations. Still others hide in the many trees and vines, resting up for their next flight.

Because most butterflies only live for a couple of weeks or so, new butterflies arrive directly from Africa, Central America, South America, Asia, and North America constantly! The entomologists at the Long Island Exhibition Center receive 800-1,200 butterfly pupae each week! At any one time, there are 40-50 different species of butterflies flying in the exhibit and over the course of the year, the Exhibition Center receives 150 different species, so each time you visit, you will see new and exciting butterfly species!

You can follow trains of iridescent blue morpho butterflies as they chase one another around the exhibit! If you look closely in the darker corners of the exhibit, you might find tiny, transparent glasswing butterflies from South and Central America, which prefer the relative safety of the dark undergrowth of tropical rainforests. You can even marvel at the world’s largest moth, the atlas moth, which rests proudly in the garden’s trees and shrubs, showing off its mammoth 12 inch wingspan!

The Exhibition Center’s Butterfly exhibit also features a butterfly laboratory and an emergence chamber where you can watch as hundreds of butterflies emerge from their chrysalises each day! If you are lucky, you will visit on a day when the Exhibition Center receives butterfly pupae and you can watch as its experts care for and hang each chrysalis! Even if you are not fortunate enough to see this, one of these expert entomologists is always present to answer any questions you may have about butterflies, plants, or other insects. Additionally, you can view weird and exotic caterpillars and insects that are on display in the butterfly lab. Read more

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