Exotic butterflies born before visitors' eyes at exciting new exhibit in Prague

The butterfly exhibit provides a front-row seat for the hatching of thousands of pupae into stunning butterflies.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 20.04.2022 18:00:00 (updated on 22.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague Botanical Garden's annual butterfly exhibit is now open for visitors. Inside the Fata Morgana greenhouse, thousands of pupae are hatching into exotic butterflies brought to the Czech Republic specially for the show.

A total of around five and a half thousand butterflies will hatch in the greenhouse at the Botanical Garden this spring. The exhibit is already underway, and will finish on May 22.

This year's nineteenth edition of the butterfly exhibit is dedicated to 'beauty in detail' as exemplified by butterflies. It’s estimated that around 40,000 visitors will enjoy the spectacle this year.

Butterfly pupae are delivered to Prague from an English butterfly farm in Stratford-upon-Avon for the exhibit. The deliveries are staggered so that new butterflies are always being born in the Botanical Garden exhibit.

As the exhibit’s organizers point out, seeing butterflies hatch provides a special snapshot onto their short lives. After hatching in Prague, they will use their short adult existence to reproduce amid the suitable conditions ensured at the Botanical Garden.

“The whole development process takes three months, but the butterfly only enjoys adulthood for two to three weeks,” said Eva Smržová, the curator of the exhibit. Some larger species enjoy an even more fleeting existence, spending as little as five days in adult form.

Species on display this year range from the tiny to the huge, including the small Aeria eurimedia from Central America and the enormous Atlas Moth, with a wingspan of as much as 25 centimeters. Other species hatching in the greenhouse include emperor butterflies, monarch butterflies, and even the poisonous Atrophaneura semperi.

The exhibit will also feature an educational element, with panels instructing visitors on the anatomy of butterflies and their unique biological characteristics.

The Botanical Garden has also set up a YouTube livestream showing the hatching of butterflies at the exhibit.

The Fata Morgana Greenhouse is open Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 19:00. You can get a ten percent discount on the entry fee by buying tickets online here.

The organizers recommend avoiding large crowds by visiting the exhibit during the afternoon on a working day; the confined space in the greenhouse means queues could form on the weekends.

Entry tickets are the same price as standard entry to the Botanical Gardens: CZK 150 for an adult; CZK 100 for students and children aged 3 to 15; CZK 75 for those over 60; and CZK 1 for those over 70. Children under two enter free of charge.

Visitors are asked not to touch butterflies at the exhibit, as the fine scales on their wings helping them fly can be easily damaged. For the same reason, dogs are not allowed inside the Fata Morgana greenhouse.

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