The Butterfly House is closed for the season. It will re-open on May 3, 2015. Come to the Spring Faire!
Hours: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, 7 days!
Please note that if the weather is cold or overcast, the butterflies may be significantly less active. You may want to check our weather before coming.
What butterflies are in the Butterfly House? The ENC’s Butterfly House is the only one of its kind in Orange County. Throughout the season, it is home to several butterfly species native to the County, including Mourning Cloak, Lorquin’s Admiral, Monarch, Queen, Buckeye, West Coast Lady, Painted Lady, California Dogface (our state butterfly), Cloudless Sulphur and Anise Swallowtail.
What kinds of plants are in the Butterfly House? ENC staff and volunteers planted Orange County native host and nectar plants for the native Orange County butterflies that live within the Butterfly House. Host plants are munched by caterpillars; nectar plants provide nectar to the adult butterflies. Why Grow Native Plants? To create habitat in your yard for birds and butterflies (among many other reason). Here is an extremely thorough list of plants native to Orange County that are host plants for Orange County Native Butterflies. Here is some important information about milkweed.
Do you sell caterpillars? We do not condone the purchase of butterflies or larvae. Please see our informational flier about this subject. Releasing captive bred butterflies into the wild can spread diseases to natural populations. It can inappropriately mix genetically distinct populations of the same species. It may disrupt the migratory behavior of native butterflies. It can confuse scientific studies of butterfly migrations.
Can I release my butterflies into the Butterfly House? No, sorry! (See above, “Do you sell caterpillars”) The best thing to do is to keep the butterflies inside in a small enclosure. Feed them from a sponge impregnated with sugar-water. In the future it is far better to take your child to a natural area and search for wild butterflies and caterpillars, which are easily found in most areas.
Where can I catch butterflies? Nets and collection containers are not allowed at the ENC (or in most natural areas). Photographing a live butterfly in nature can be more challenging than netting one, and you can keep your “collection” in a photo album!
Who made the Butterfly House possible? The Butterfly House was made possible by a gift from the Rotary Club of Okazaki South in Japan and the Rotary Club of Newport Balboa as a joint centennial community service project. Additional funding was received from Pacific Life Foundation and Home Depot. Thank you!
Interested in learning about the butterflies and plants living in the Butterfly House? Download the guides: