National Insect Week returns in 2020
Monday, June 25, 2018 - 10:00 to 17:00
The Tropical Butterfly House is the atmospheric, jungle home to myriad species of free-flying butterflies from the Blue Morpho to the King Page Swallowtail, the Malachite to the Scarlett Peacock and the Tree Nymph, to name a few. All peacefully at home surrounded by exotic and tropical plant life.
Visitors to the Tropical Butterfly House are encouraged to wander around or sit quietly in a corner of this heated jungle and enjoy a close-up experience of these colourful and exotic butterflies as they dart here-and-there amongst the tropical plants, searching for nectar sources, and performing what appear to be aerobatic dances to attract mates.
As you wander around the house or sit quietly in a corner, you may find that some of the butterflies come to land on you, perhaps attracted by colourful fabrics of your clothes or more likely, seeking out the salt that humans produce on their skins' surface, sucking it up with their proboscis (the handy straw-like ‘device’ butterflies unfold to use as a mouth).
In one corner of the house, you can observe the pupae hatch into butterflies and learn about the life cycle of these fascinating animals. From hatching from a tiny egg as larva (in the form of a caterpillar) and then transforming into pupa to hatch again, but this time as a butterfly. How the butterfly then enjoys weeks or months searching for a mate before finding a place to lay eggs and begin the beautiful life cycle once again.
Follow the meandering anthropods as they feast on nectar from the special fruit tables, flit around the lush plant life and float close to the turtles and terrapins hiding in the pond.
Pass through to discover a world of mini-beasts. From our friendly python (!) to glow-in-the-dark scorpions, tropical fish to talkative parrots, and not forgetting our little community of terrapins, tarantulas, giant hissing cockroaches, bugs, stick insects, and snakes. Not for the faint-hearted!
Visitors can also look forward to perusing gift shop favourites in our Seaforde Shop and letting their little ones burn off some energy in our children’s playground.
There are lots of contenders here – possibly the pretty red and blue rove beetle Paederus – very, very tiny amounts of its poison have been used to cure chronic ulceration in people. Ladybirds are pretty poisonous (and pretty) and can bleed foul-tasting poisonous brightly coloured blood from their knees.