Butterfly Rainforest Chrysalis Cam - Live Video Feed
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See an assortment of butterfly pupae that arrive each week by the hundreds from butterfly farms around the world. They are unpacked, sorted and displayed in large window cases. Watch closely as you may see a colorful new adult butterfly emerge.
Q: What is the difference between a pupa, chrysalis and a cocoon?
A: Pupa and chrysalis have the same meaning: the transformation stage between the larva and the adult. While pupa can refer to this naked stage in either a butterfly or moth, chrysalis is strictly used for the butterfly pupa. A cocoon is the silk casing that a moth caterpillar spins around it before it turns into a pupa. When the larval stage of some butterfly species is fully grown, it spins a button of silk and attaches the hind-most prolegs to it and hangs upside down in the "J" position in order to pupate (some actually sit in an upright position). This is the larva's final molt as it transforms to a chrysalis. Many butterfly pupae are cryptic and blend into their surroundings.
Q: Where do we get our butterflies?
A: The majority of the butterflies in the Rainforest are bred in butterfly farms throughout the world, primarily Malaysia, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Suriname, El Salvador, Ecuador, Australia, New Guinea, Madagascar, Africa and Florida. They are shipped to us in the pupal stage and emerge as adult butterflies in our rearing lab. We periodically rear some species of butterflies, primarily for larval display, but not with the intent to increase the adult population in the Rainforest. The rearing lab allows our guests a closer look at the life cycle of the butterfly, from egg to larva to pupa to adult. Visitors will have the chance to see voracious caterpillars feeding on their host plants along with a variety of pupae before they emerge as adults, some doing so daily!
Not Much Happening Right Now?
Watch a recorded time-lapse video of butterflies emerging in the Rearing Lab: