Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Butterfly Surprise

Anyone who works with live animals gets used to occasional surprises. When a nursing home chose to use painted lady butterflies as a centerpiece for a Mother’s day party, they thought they had chosen a nice time of year, when the butterflies, a species native to the area, would have warm weather and ample flowers to feast on once the event was over. But surprise! Spring is starting very late this year, and the butterflies did not show much interest in flying out on a cold, grey day.

One of the nursing home employees remembered that Pacific Science Center has a butterfly house. Although we normally feature more tropical species, the hardy painted lady is perfectly happy in our exhibits.

Life Sciences Manger Sarah Moore got a surprise when she went to pick up the butterflies. Their carrying cases were nearly as pretty as they were. The butterflies were happy to feel the warm air and quickly found flowers to drink nectar from. We hope they like it here.

Pacific Science Center encourages anyone thinking of raising or buying butterflies to plan in advance for the whole life cycle of these animals. Butterflies often surprise us by emerging from the chrysalis earlier or later than expected. The weather is also not as cooperative as we might hope and a butterfly emerging in your house on a rainy day can pose a real dilemma!

1 comment:

  1. We just released 14 Painted Ladies at our local nursery where there was maximum flower coverage (thanks for the advice Terry)They quickly moved into the flower gardens to enjoy the Coastal Garden Center in Westport.