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Be Surrounded by 3,000 Blue Morpho Butterflies

During MARCH MORPHO MANIA TM At The Butterfly House!

 

Throughout the month of March, the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Chesterfield offers visitors an experience not to be missed: be surrounded by more than 3,000 tropical blue morpho butterflies in free flight, ten times the usual number! Don’t miss the March Morpho ManiaTM total immersion experience from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, Mar. 2 through 31 (closed Mondays). Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children ages three to 12 and free for children ages two and under.

For more information, visit http://www.butterflyhouse.org /mmm.aspx.

The 8,000-square-foot indoor tropical conservatory is usually home to roughly 300 Common Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) butterflies at any Common Blue Morpho wing scalesone time. The tropical butterflies, native to Central and South America, are a visitor favorite at the Butterfly House, easily identified by their iridescent, bright blue wings. At roost, the mottled brown underside of the butterflies’ closed wings helps them to blend in with their surroundings, fooling predators who mistake their spots for animal eyes. When open, the wingspan of a blue morpho can reach up to eight inches.

The Common Blue Morpho butterflies on display during March Morpho Mania come from El Bosque Nuevo, a butterfly farming operation in Costa Rica. This farming effort represents an alternative choice to more damaging forms of agriculture, and also allows for the restoration of native habitat, increasing the potential for species of native animals and plants to survive in the wild.

Throughout the month of March, visitors will learn about the critical role butterflies play in nature, and how the Butterfly House is participating in this particular conservation effort in Costa Rica. Every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., engaging activities designed for all ages will focus on a different aspect of the country:

• Mar. 6 and 7: Learn about the mysterious stone sculptures of Costa Rica’s eastern Caribbean coast.

• Mar. 13 and 14: Explore the significant global loss of amphibians and how it has impacted the frog populations of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

• Mar. 20 and 21: Discover the Guanacaste Region and the “jewels” of Costa Rica, its blue morpho butterflies.

• Mar. 27 and 28: Play games that originate from the Central Valley.

The 3,000 Common Blue Morphos aren’t the only living creatures that visitors will encounter at the Butterfly House! Approximately 1,000 other tropical butterflies representing over 60 of the world’s species are also on display daily. The exhibit hall features dozens of other living insect and arachnid displays, from scorpions and beetles to spiders and roaches.

Common Blue Morpho butterflyThe Butterfly House is located at 15193 Olive Blvd. at Faust Park in Chesterfield, Mo., easily accessible from Interstate 64 at exit #19B. Hours through Memorial Day are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (closed Mondays). The last ticket is sold 30 min. prior to closing each day.

Admission is $6 for adults (ages 13 to 64), $4.50 for seniors (ages 65 and over), and $4 for children (ages three to 12). Children ages two and under and Missouri Botanical Garden members are free.

Visitors are welcome to take snapshots for their own personal use using a hand-held camera only; please, no tripods, monopods or external flash equipment.

For more information, visit www.butterflyhouse.org or call (636) 530-0076.

The Butterfly House is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

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