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Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls

A large amount of bright tropical butterflies fly freely among exotic blossoms

Best time: all year round

Butterfly Conservatory
Butterfly Conservatory
Butterfly Conservatory
Butterfly Conservatory
Butterfly Conservatory

The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is located approximately 9km north of Niagara Falls on the grounds of 40 ha. This year-round butterfly house along with a 200-seat auditorium room, a gift shop, and a climate-controlled greenhouse, was opened in 1996. The Conservatory glass dome is 1,022 square meters in size with 180 meters of trails inside the greenhouse portion, where a wide variety of foliage grows. The Conservatory owns over 2,000 tropical butterflies from over 60 different species. Trails wind through the rainforest setting, passing by a waterfall and pond, and continue on to the Emergence Window, where these marvellous insects leave their pupae and prepare for their first flight!

The Conservatory imports close to 3,000 butterflies per month from world butterfly farms in the Philippines, El Salvador, Australia, and Costa Rica, as butterflies usually have a lifespan of two to four weeks. Banded orange, ordinary Mormon, blue morpho, Gulf fritillary, cydno longwing, Doris longwing, monarch, Julia, Low's swallowtail, and other species belong to Conservatory. Special netting along the inside of the conservatory dome keeps the butterflies from dying from hypothermia or from getting stuck. Butterfly food plants at the conservatory such as Ixora, Liatris, Pentas, and Lantana are replaced every two to three weeks because caterpillars have enormous appetites.

Bright colours have always attracted butterflies, so if you want them to land on your body, you should wear something vivid and, of course, move slowly. Visitors are also allowed to view the butterfly life cycle in the Emergence area where over 45,000 butterflies come to life annually.

Practical info

What species of butterflies can I see in the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory?

More than 2,000 butterflies of 60 species are housed in the Conservatory, imported monthly from butterfly farms situated in different countries. A few of the species present are ordinary Mormon, Gulf fritillary, Julia, cydno longwing, banded orange, Doris longwing, Low's swallowtail, and blue morpho. Show more

Where is the Emergence Window located, and what can visitors expect to see there?

Situated at the end of the trails inside the greenhouse sector of the conservatory, the Emergence Window is the point where visitors can observe butterflies leaving their pupae and preparing for their inaugural flight. What's more, this location displays the butterfly life cycle, and on an annual basis, more than 45,000 butterflies emerge here. Show more

When is the best time of day to visit the Butterfly Conservatory?

Although afternoons are the busiest period, the ideal time to see the butterflies when they are active is in the morning. Visitors are advised to come immediately the conservatory opens to witness the most active butterfly movements. Show more

How long do butterflies usually live, and how often are new butterflies brought in?

On average, butterflies live for about 2-4 weeks, and each month, approximately 3,000 butterflies from butterfly farms across the world are imported into the Conservatory. This introduction of new butterflies guarantees a constant supply of new butterfly species for visitors to see. Show more

What types of plants are found in the Conservatory, and how often are they replaced?

The Conservatory corridor is home to a variety of plant species like Ixora, Liatris, Lantana, and Pentas. These plants are caterpillars' staples and provide food for the butterflies. The conserved plants are frequently replaced, every 2-3 weeks, as caterpillars have voracious appetites. The Conservatory team makes sure that the foliage is fresh and healthy enough to sustain the butterflies' life cycle. Show more

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