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Louisville Zoo opening new butterfly exhibit, runs through Sept. 24

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By Louisville Zoo

Experience hundreds of graceful native butterflies sipping nectar from colorful flowers, basking in the sunlight and flying freely as individuals wander through the Louisville Zoo’s new 1,000 square foot outdoor flight house located across from the bongo exhibit. Free with the zoo admission May 20 through Sept. 24, weather permitting.

Individuals should see if they can identify monarchs, swallowtails and painted ladies from among 700 winged beauties representing a dozen native species. Learn about the types of nectar and host plants needed to sustain butterflies throughout their life cycle: from egg to caterpillar to chrysalid to butterfly. If individuals are lucky, they will have the chance to see a butterfly emerge.

Bring a camera to capture encounters with these delicate, brilliantly colored creatures. Individuals will emerge with a sense of awe and a better understanding of the environment and protections needed for the survival of these beautiful animals—plus ways to help them thrive in the individual’s own backyard.

The Louisville Zoo’s butterfly adventure culminates with the tagging and release of 1,000 monarch butterflies at Flutter Fest Sept. 23 brought to you by Louisville’s Idlewild Butterfly Farm. This coincides with the annual migration of monarch butterflies. The Louisville Zoo will be designated as a Monarch Way Station.

Species

n Painted Lady

n Monarch Butterfly

n Pipevine Swallowtail

n Eastern Black Swallowtail

n Buckeye Butterfly

n Commas and Question Marks

n Red Admiral

n Mourning Cloaks

n Zebra Swallowtails

n Spicebush Swallowtails

n Giant Swallowtails

n and other Swallowtail species (Idlewild’s specialty). n