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Tropical butterflies – Special exhibition

Saturday, 18 December 2010 until
Sunday, 3 April 2011

Experience live exotic butterflies
in the aquatic plants greenhouse number 4 of our glasshouse complex.

Accompanying exhibition in the „Grüner Saal“ (house 7): „Heimische Schmetterlings-Fauna“ (native butterfly fauna) compiled by the Zoologische Staatssammlung München (Bavarian State Collection of Zoology), artistically complemented by life-like paintings on glass by Christina Dichtl.

Admission charges: regular € 5, concessions € 3

Miraculous transformation

Caterpillar and butterfly – they seem to be two totally different creatures and yet – they are one organism. You can experience live the miraculous metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and finally to the brilliantly coloured butterfly in the Munich Botanical Garden.

This year it is our 14th exhibition of live exotic butterflies with over 400 different types of butterflies thriving in a warm and humid tropical rain forest environment. After a long journey from butterfly farms in South-East Asia and Latin America, they are delivered directly to us in their chrysalis stage emerging as adult butterflies only a few days later. There are numerous types to admire but the Blue Morpho is the undisputed star of the exhibition. When resting only the brown velvety underside of its wings can be seen, decorated with a series of eyespots (ocelli). However, as soon as it launches into flight the upper side of its wings shows off their iridescent almost unnatural blue splendour.

Other very attractive butterflies are the Papilio with its elegant swallowtails, the graceful Heliconius and the palm-sized Owl Butterfly (Caligo eurilochus, see picture on the right) and which, when in flight, some visitor prefer to give a wide berth. Look carefully and you will quickly detect the matching caterpillars. They feast ravenously on the foliage of the specially grown forage plants. Our staff will gladly help you to find the mostly well-camouflaged caterpillars.

The exhibition runs from 18th December, 2010 until 3rd April, 2011 (excluding Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve) and is open to visitors from 9 am to 4 pm (in February and March until 4:30 pm, in April until 5:30 pm).

The admission charge for the Botanical Garden including the exhibition is 5 Euro for adults and 3 Euro reduced. Free admission for children under 12 (if accompanied by an adult). Young people under 18 are admitted at a reduced charge.

Butterfly photographs

Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides)
from Central America

Chinese Peacock (Papilio bianor)
from South-East Asia

Zebra Longwing
(Heliconius charithonia)
from Central America

Paper Kite or Rice Paper
Butterfly (Idea leuconoe)
from South-East Asia

Tiger Longwing
(Heliconius hecale)
from Central America

Text: Andreas Gröger
Photos: Franz Höck, Franz Schlegel