Now becoming an annual event a chance to see tropical butterflies at Wisley Glasshouse. A great way to show us, particularly children, the need to save our rainforests.
There are many theories about the how the word butterfly came about. Entomologists believe it was from the male brimstone butterfly. A bright yellow colour like butter and fly says it all really.
The butterflies are bred especially for events such as this one, transported carefully from Belize to a butterfly farm in Stratford-upon-Avon, which opened in 1993.
50 species and approximately 7000 tropical butterflies are released into the glasshouse at RHS gardens Wisley.
Butterflies have a short life and when released live for between two to four weeks. So when the event ends the majority of the adult butterflies are at the end of their natural lives. Those that are left: adults, eggs and caterpillars are returned to the farm in Stratford.
Butterflies live on nectar from the flowers and feed on rotting fruit including banana, pineapple and sugar solution. There are feeding platforms and hanging fruit around the glasshouse. It is also an excellent opportunity to see the role the plants have in supporting butterflies.
There is a butterfly box which is a marquee with four zones showing the life cycle of a butterfly. Information is displayed to show the visitor the secret life of the butterfly through the life cycle, courtship, feeding, egg laying and the difference between butterflies and moths. There are also tips on how to make our gardens at home more wildlife friendly.
The butterfly trail is spread over two floors. On entering the glasshouse it's as if you have stepped into a tropical forest. Be amazed by the colours and sizes of the butterflies and the closeness, it's quite magical.