Sunday, July 10, 2011

Maxine & Jonathan Marshall Butterfly Pavillion

My friend Marla

While I'm in Panama and collecting lots of cool info, I thought I'd take you to a place we visited in early April at the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Butterfly Pavilion.  This next series takes us to the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens near the Papagayo park and Phoenix Zoo.  If you go right now, wear a hat and go early in the morning, but personally I think it's too hot to even enjoy the experience and would wait until October or November to visit. As some of you may or may not know, I am a docent for the Tucson Botanical Gardens and volunteer when I can in the Butterfly Pavilion there.  Most butterfly pavilions are closed now and quite frankly that's a good's just too hot to function is this weather.  However, we don't need pavilions here in the desert southwest during this time of year as we have lots and lots of our own native butterflies to enjoy here.  I have a series on butterfly plants written back in March so it's not too late to put a couple of those plants in for your own enjoyment:) 

The main differences between the two butterfly pavilions are that the Tucson display is enclosed and smaller while the Phoenix display is airy, open, and surrounded by a net.  The types of butterflies and moths are also different.   Our shipments come from Costa Rica, Africa, etc. and the Phoenix butterflies come from Florida.  All of them are very cool and that's what I loved about this particular butterfly pavilion.  There were lots of oranges and yellows flying all around us.  

These Julia(Dryas julia) are taking a break from their warm day and catching up on some fresh citrus.

I secretly shot my friend looking at something.  She had a stowaway butterfly on her shirt as she was trying to exit.  Many of the butterflies found in this pavilion can also be seen in the Sonoran desert.  There were Sulfurs, Buckeyes, Queens, Malachites, Longwings, and Swallowtails.  The mister would come on every several minutes to keep the moisture levels up for the butterflies.

A Swallowtail which can be commonly seen in our desert takes a break from the afternoon sun.

The Queen butterfly is a popular and welcome guest during our warm summer months in Tucson.

Stay tuned for more.........

The Zebra Longwing


  1. Lovely butterflies. I really do like visiting butterfly"farms" and seeing some of the exotic species that wouldn't survive in the wild here in England.

  2. My favorite color is orange, and I always thought the Julia butterfly should be my state (Florida's) butterfly! This sure is a beautiful place!!!

  3. They used to have another exhibit once a year with other butterflies coming from elsewhere but they don't anymore and with these ones they have to be extra careful for them not to escape because they could spread illnesses to local butterflies who would not be able to recover...


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