Butterflies at Fairchild Tropical Gardens


Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens recently finished the construction of a butterfly conservatorium and science center. Moth and butterfly pupae are imported from Asia and South America under strict regulation by the US Department of Agriculture, hatched, and released daily into the screened atrium. Inside the atrium is a specially engineered butterfly garden complete with flowering plants, stream, and humidity controls. The butterflies are denied necessary hosts for breeding and die after a few days. Employees and volunteers who work at the entrance and exit undergo extensive training to assure no butterflies are released into the environment. Each entry and exit point has a transition chamber where people are inspected to assure none of the insects have hitched a ride out of the atrium. These photos were made with a Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens and 5D MkII camera shooting at ISO 1600, 1/80th sec, f/16-22 for maximum depth of field.

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