This beautiful , transparent butterfly dome is home to 2,500 butterflies. More than 35 exotic species flutter within the flower-filled dome where planting mimics their natural habitat and provides food plants for the individual species.They are native to S. America, Asia and Africa but are largely farmed in Belize. They ahve a natural life, as an adult butterfly, of 4-6 weeks. Nectar is supplemented with feeding stations with rotting fruit and sugar nectar dips.The temperature and humidity are controlled, 25-28 degrees C and 80 percent humidity.The butterflies are enjoying this new home. from mid morning onwards they take flight, giant bright Blue Morphos steel the show but the dome flickers with active butterflies, looking for mates. Once they are coupled they interact for several hours, conjoined.
Many have laid eggs which have hatched to caterpillar stage. In the hatching house, bought in pupae hatch daily and are released into the dome. Lepidopterists Jack Kitchen and Anna Platoni ( see feature on Wisely Butterflies)look after butterfly welfare, whilst model Kelly Brook is enchanted by their beauty. Visitors are captivated and impulsively smile i wonderment, a truly calming, escapist experience.
This Hampton Flower Court Flower Show dome is temporary, but there are other butterfly houses to visit throughout the UK.
© Jacky Hobbs Creative Freelance