Rainforest Conservatory

Enter a stunning, three-story glass structure built around a 50-foot waterfall! This simulated tropical rainforest is filled with exotic plants and over 1,500 flying butterflies. These beautiful, delicate creatures imported from butterfly farms around the world will delight you as they flutter through the vegetation, stop to sip nectar or fruit juices, and occasionally perch on lucky visitors.

How many butterflies are in the Cockrell Butterfly Center?
We estimate there are 1,500 to 2,000 individual butterflies in the exhibit at any given time.
How many species are in the rainforest conservatory?
You can generally expect to see 60 or so species of butterflies from tropical regions such as Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.
Why does it seem like there are more (or less) butterflies than the last time I visited?
There are a lot of factors that can affect butterfly activity including weather and time of day. These changes in activity levels can make it seem like there are more or less butterflies even though it is always roughly the same!
Is the Cockrell Butterfly Center climate controlled?
Yes, though it should be noted that the temperature and humidity are set to mimic a tropical rainforest. Expect the temperature to be between 75F and 80F with a humidity of 70-80%.
Are we allowed to take photos?
Yes, of course! Personal photography and videography is encouraged.
Please contact ldavidson@hmns.org for any inquiries concerning photography/videography intended for professional use.
Do you sell pupae or butterflies for release outdoors?
We do not sell butterflies for special event releases outdoors. If interested in purchasing butterflies for a wedding or memorial, please visit the International Butterfly Breeders Association to find a vendor in your area.
How can I donate caterpillars or butterflies such as monarchs?
For various reasons, we do not accept locally found butterflies to be released in the exhibit. If you are looking for resources on monarchs, please visit our support page.
Curator: Lauren Davidson

As a kid, Lauren visited the Cockrell Butterfly Center when it first opened in 1994. She instantly fell in love with the butterflies and frequently returned throughout her childhood. She continually became more curious about insects and their relatives during her visits, influencing her to pursue a degree in entomology.….

Also curates the following:


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