Encounter free-flying butterflies at the PNM Butterfly Pavilion
Eyespots are one insect adaptation visitors can learn about in the Butterfly Pavilion. Photo by Amy Landers, ABQ BioPark.
As summer approaches, the ABQ BioPark is getting ready to open its seasonal free-flying butterfly exhibit. A colorful array of butterflies fills the PNM Butterfly Pavilion, which reopens Friday, May 23. Observe more than thirty butterfly species from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily (hours extended until 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day). The exhibit will be open through early October, weather permitting.
Enjoy species native to New Mexico, and later in the summer, looks for colorful tropical species. On opening weekend, visitors might find monarchs, zebra longwings, great southern whites, Julias, common buckeyes, and spice bush butterflies. As the weather warms, Blue morphos, paper kites and giant owl butterflies and Mexican blue wings will begin to emerge. Don’t miss the chrysalises hanging in the hatching window and special insect and arachnid displays.
“As the temperatures rise, cold-blooded animals like butterflies and other insects become active again. Early in the season, on cold days, butterflies in the exhibit will be less active than on warmer days,” says Ralph Charlton, Curator of Invertebrates. “No matter the temperature, the Butterfly Pavilion offers guests an unforgettable experience walking among 500-some butterflies and seeing other amazing arthropods like caterpillars, tarantulas, grasshoppers and millipedes.”
Butterflies are some of the important animals that pollinate flowers. Nearly 90 percent of flowering plants depend on animals for pollination to produce their seeds and fruit. Learn more about New Mexico’s pollinators at the Botanic Garden’s Pollinator Celebration on June 21. The PNM Butterfly Pavilion is included with regular admission.