The Butterfly Pavilion is home to thousands of living animals called invertebrates.
These animals share a common characteristic - they have no backbone! 97% of all animals species on the planet are invertebrates, and our collection represents nearly every habitat on earth. We are an invertebrate zoo featuring mostly arthropods. Arthropods have three distinctive characteristics - they have an exoskeleton, segmented bodies, and jointed attachments called appendages.
During your visit you'll meet many different types of invertebrates. From the tropical butterflies in our rainforest to sea stars at the Water's Edge, these animals will amaze you with their variety and impact on our planet.
...and a few vertebrates
Throughout the facility you'll encounter a handful of vertebrates. Turtles, tortoises, frogs, birds and fish inhabit our Tropical Conservatory. At the Water's Edge you'll find an assortment of tropical fish.
Of course, people are also vertebrates, and we have plenty of them on staff to answer your questions about our animals.
Found an unknown insect
in your house or outdoors, and would like to know what it is? Email us a photo at email@example.com
, and we might be able to help identify it!
There are few places where a visitor can wander a tropical
rainforest and explore a shortgrass prairie in a matter of minutes. Our plant collections provide food and shelter for our butterflies and other invertebrates as well as excellent opportunities to learn about gardening and biology.
Conservation informs our horticulture programs - from sustainable gardening to education about the importance of habitat diversity worldwide.
At the Butterfly Pavilion we have five exhibit areas including four indoor exhibit halls and our gardens and nature trail outdoors.
Fluttering, flitting, flying, emerging, growing….our lush tropical conservatory is alive with 1,200 butterflies from rainforests around the world. Marvel as they emerge from their chrysalides, then watch as our staff releases them into the rainforest.
Immerse yourself in the world of invertebrates while exploring the Pavilion’s newest traveling exhibits! Now featuring… Tropical Odyssey a journey in Conservation.
Swimming, creeping, swaying, scooting…you’ll have hands-on experiences with sea stars, sea cucumbers and horseshoe crabs as you touch and learn in our Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tide pools.
See them, watch them…even touch them! Go eye-to-eye with tarantulas, leaf insects, scorpins, beetles and giant millipedes. You can even hold Rosie, our friendly Chilean Rose Hair tarantula.
Take a hike outside, and investigate the native habitats surrounding the Pavilion. It’s a great place to conduct a bug hunt or watch local invertebrates in action.
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Don't Miss It!
- Watch a butterfly drink nectar from a flower
- Stand under the enormous leaf of an Elephant's Ear in the Conservatory
- Smell the honey-like fragrance of a Butterfly Bush
- Learn to attract butterflies to your own backyard