Butterfly Adventure: Returns June 2017
Be amazed with an up close encounter as hundreds of butterflies surround you in our new butterfly adventure habitat.
You will also be able to explore our Natural Science habitats, Marine Lab, Rainforest, Living History Farm and much more…
Best of all, members get in FREE! Click here to become a member.
Planning a visit for yourself or your family? Click here for FAQs.
Planning a visit for a large group? Click here for FAQs.
Butterfly Adventure: Butterflies Are On Their Way!
The butterflies are coming! The butterflies are coming! Beginning June 11, literally hundreds of colorful butterflies will be playing hide and seek among the tropical foliage in the Roper Mountain Science Center’s Fred W. Symmes Tropical Rainforest. While these gorgeous creatures are all native to theSoutheast, and the Center’s rainforest provides the perfect habitat, these butterflies have heard how wonderful Greenville, SC is to visit and will travel here for their summer vacation.
The majority of butterflies raised for butterfly exhibits begin life in a USDA governed hatchery. Butterfly hatcheries follow strict regulations in everything from breeding to shipping, to ensure these fragile insects arrive alive and healthy.
Butterflies begin their short lifespan as a very small egg. The shape of the egg, which can be round, oval, ribbed or cylindrical, is determined by the type of butterfly laying the egg. In some butterfly eggs, especially those laid by monarch butterflies, if you look very closely, it is possible to see the tiny caterpillar inside. Whether in the wild or in a hatchery, butterflies generally deposit their eggs on the underside of a leaf or on the ground under a plant. Not just any plant will do. The female first tastes the leaf with her feet checking to make sure it’s appropriate before laying her eggs. The eggs just don’t rest on the leaf. They are attached with a glue-like substance which is secreted along with the eggs. Depending on the type of butterfly, the female may deposit a single egg on different leaves in order to avoid predators, lay small clusters of eggs or hundreds of eggs in one oversized mound. Butterfly eggs can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months before hatching, depending on the season. After laying her eggs, the female butterfly’s work is done and she does not provide any additional care or attention to the eggs.