Connect with us
[adrotate banner="51"]


M&T Bank Butterflies Live Takes Flight this Saturday at Lewis Ginter Garden

After a two-year hiatus, the butterflies are back and we have a sneak peek at these amazingly diverse and beautiful creatures.




What you need to know before you go.

  • M&T Bank Butterflies Live runs from April 16th to October 10th and admission is included with your Lewis Ginter Garden Admission, $8 – $17 non-members, free for members.
  • The exhibit is open 9 am to 5 pm daily with extended hours on Wednesday Alfresco  which runs May 18th – September
  • The butterflies are located in the North Wing of the Conservatory (the big glass building) and you’ll be able to walk amongst them as they feed on plants and at feeding stations.
  • There will be hundreds of butterflies in the Conservatory with a focus on the tropical species but if you know your butterflies you’ll see some natives flitting about.
  • Twice daily, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, new butterflies are released.

This was Thursday’s morning release.

  • You’ll want to go more than once. The butterflies you see in April will be different from what you’ll see in May and July.
  • If you want to see butterflies flying head over on a sunny day. If you want to see butterflies being a bit more chill and resting then a cloudy day is for you. I speak from experience trying to get a picture of a butterfly flying is very hard. Even on a sunny day, they will often land on branches, flowers, feeding stations, and even humans.

One of the few in flight and in focus shots I managed.

Proof that they’ll land on humans. They will be attracted to bright colors. Sweat will also attract butterflies.

  • Don’t try to touch the butterflies. While it’s a myth that a single touch of the wing can prevent a butterfly from flying it’s still not good for them and you wouldn’t want an accident.
  • Watch your step and of course your children’s step. The butterflies will land on the ground to drink water and rest. The foot of even the smallest child would crush a butterfly.

Look down when you move around. Some butterflies’ camouflage works against them in this environment.

Apologies in advance for not getting the names of all the butterflies you’ll see in this post.

The Peacock Butterfly looks a little plain from this side.

The other side of the Peacock Butterfly.

One of the feeding stations.

This is the massive Atlas Moth. Notice the top of their wings that mimic snake heads.

This image was swiped from Wikipedia to give you an idea of scale of the Atlas Moth. Don’t worry they have their own container and won’t be landing on you.

The Emergence Room where all the butterflies emerge from their chrysalises is off-limits to the general public but we were lucky enough to get an invite and see where the butterflies transform.

This is the a 7–8 cm long papery cocoon interwoven with desiccated leaves and attach it to a twig using a strand of silk of the Atlas Moth.

This is the chrysalis from which the moth will emerge.

Tropical butterflies will emerge from these chrysalises.

Native butterflies will emerge from these chrysalises. You can see some already out.


Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.