Thirty different Neotropical species represented in the Zoo’s Butterfly Aviary
CINCINNATI, OH (March 30, 2022) – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Butterfly Aviary, located in the World of the Insect building, is now home to 30 different species of Neotropical butterflies! From blue morphos as large as your hand to tiny Mexican bluewings and in an array of colors from iridescent blue, to turquoise, red, yellow, green, and white.
“The blue morpho is probably the most eye-catching butterfly that visitors will see in the aviary,” said Cincinnati Zoo senior insectarium keeper Kelli Walker. “With wings spanning up to eight inches and coloring that must be seen to be described, they really stand out. They also have an interesting taste for smoothies made of rotten fruit mixed with beer, which was something we learned from another Zoo with this species.”
Ten species, including the morpho, will be the insect team’s primary focus. The other nine are: Stoplight, Tiger Leafwing, Isabella Tiger, Cydno Longwing, Red Postman, Whitened Bluewing, Pink-spotted Cattleheart, Malachite, and Harmonia Tiger.
The insect team receives 100 + butterfly chrysalids weekly and sets them up in an environment optimized for them to complete the final stages of metamorphosis. Once they emerge, they are released in the aviary.
“We’re adding new butterflies almost daily, so visitors may see a different combination of species every time they stop by,” said Walker. “I also recommend coming when the sun is shining. The butterflies are more active when it’s warm and sunny.”
In addition to introducing guests to an array of exotic butterfly species in the Butterfly Aviary, the Zoo actively encourages its in-person and online audiences to plant pollinator-friendly gardens to attract and feed butterflies. As a new official partner with Monarch Joint Venture, the Zoo is particularly focused on helping these amazing creatures.
The Butterfly Aviary is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, through the end of October. It is free with Zoo admission and for members. Memberships are on sale now – April 30, so join today and you can check on the butterflies every day! The Zoo opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Members may enter at 9 a.m., another perk that makes membership “worth your wild”!