Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Key West Butterfly Conservancy

Our time here in the Florida Keys is rapidly coming to a close, so Teri and I decided to make another trip down to Key West to visit a couple of spots that interested us.

The #1 tourist attraction in Key West is the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservancy, and since we enjoy seeing butterflies we thought we'd stop in. We have noticed that a few of the popular tourist destinations in The Keys are overpriced money grabs, but were pleasantly surprised at how well designed and maintained this butterfly observatory was.

In the foyer before entering the observatory there was some general information about butterflies and the observatory, and a few terrariums with various tropical amphibians, including this "Pacman Frog". Now I am sure that this frog was around way before the Pacman video game, but the name seems to fit this squat little fellow.
Pacman Frog
We entered the large observatory, and were immediately surrounded by hundreds of tropical butterflies. Many of them were the large Blue Morpho butterflies that we've seen a few times in Central America. But we've never seen this many, or had them so close. In fact, one of them landed on my hat!
Hitching a Ride.
They are well camouflaged when closed, but an amazing bright blue when open.
Blue Morpho Butterfly
There were a few "butterfly friendly" birds in the observatory as well, including a pair of Caribbean Flamingos that had been rescued from a breeding operation in Canada, of all places.
Caribbean Flamingo
The main attraction was a wide variety of tropical butterflies,all of which are captive bred and raised. We don't know the identity of most of these, but hope that you enjoy their beauty without a name!!

Many of the butterflies were in the Heliconia family. We've seen a couple of examples of them here in Florida, including the Zebra Heliconia (or Zebra Longwing) which is Florida's State Butterfly. 

Zebra Longwing

That is enough for today, Check back tomorrow for Part 2!



  1. That Blue Morpho brings back good memories of Costa Rica... You sure got some great photos of all of those beauties!

  2. When I saw one of the butterflies...I knew immediately it was a Florida, it would be a Pale Cracker.