A Visit to the Butterfly Rainforest in Gainesville

Jill Staake

Although I work at a butterfly garden and free-flight exhibit, I never tire of visiting other exhibits when I have the chance. Last week, I was in Gainesville visiting the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History. In this 6,400 square foot enclosure, hundreds of butterflies and dozens of species can be found in flight every day of the year. These butterflies come to Gainesville from around the world, delighting visitors as they wander among gorgeous nectar and foliage plants next to soothing waterfalls while Zebra finches, Chinese quail, and lovebirds fly overhead.

Sapho Longwing (Heliconius sapho)

Click here to view my Flickr slideshow displaying just a very few of the butterflies we saw last week, and visit the Butterfly Rainforest website to learn more about making a visit there yourself.

Free-flight butterfly exhibits are becoming very popular around the country – Florida itself has half a dozen or so. Which ones have you visited? Tell us in the comments below!

  1. says

    I’ve visited the Butterfly Rainforest in Gainseville many times and am always amazed at the lovely butterflies ….. I just wish I lived closer to this amazing place so I could visit (or volunteer) there. Thanks for sharing …..

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