Butterfly Journey is the UK's largest zoo-based buttefly house with free-flying butterflies and moths in an immersive environment.
This large tropical house is home to more than 30 species of butterfly from Central America, Africa and south east Asia. The exotic species on show include Blue Morphos, Giant Owls, Glasswings, Swallowtails and the spectacular Atlas Moth which can have a wingspan of up to 30cm across.
Walking through the Butterfly Journey immerses you in a tropical environment with hundreds of exotic plants, many of which have been chosen for specific reasons.
They include Lantana, a tropical evergreen shrub which produces many flowers throughout the year and provides an essential nectar source to feed the butterflies.
Banana, citrus and passion flower have also been planted as they are favoured host plants for egg laying and caterpillar feeding for a variety of species.
Even though we're successfully breeding several species, we cannot be completely self-sufficient when it comes to stocking the exhibit.
The majority of the pupae that can be seen in the Puparium’, the glass-fronted case where butterflies and moths emerge from their pupae, are those obtained from sustainable butterfly farms from as far afield as Costa Rica and Thailand.
This not only protects the wild populations of butterflies in their native forests but provides an invaluable source of environmentally sustainable income for rural communities in these countries.