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Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin Birdsandbats' Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin Review

Discussion in 'United States' started by birdsandbats, 9 Sep 2018.

  1. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Welcome to Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin

    Dates of Visit: August 11 2018, August 30 2018 (this review is based on a combination of these two visits. I have visited several times before)

    Buterfly Gardens of Wisconsin in a non-AZA zoological facility located in Appleton, WI. It focuses mainly on the order Lepidoptera, however BGW does not exclusively hold these species.

    Entrance
    Drive down N Richmond ST and turn when you see the cardboard cutout of Bigfoot. That may sound the directions to the Mystery Shack from Gravity Falls, but it is actually how you get to Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin.
    The parking lot is very nice. Around the edges there are lots of native prairie plants - this place is well kept. Because of this, you will see many wild butterflies (and other animals) on your visit, too. After parking, take the path between the Wedding Chapel and the Butterfly House until you come upon the entrance for the Butterfly House. Enter here.

    Entrance Area
    This is where you pay admission. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children (except those two and under, who are free).
    This building is filled with interesting stuff. It is filled with all sorts of pinned butterflies and cocoons (old and new). There is an almost completely barren tank containing one small Painted Turtle. The entire tank is water and some rocks poking above the water. Next to this is a small, well-planted Kritter Keeper containing two unidentified tree frog species - I will post photos for identification. There were also three terrariums containing caterpillars - one for Eastern Comma and Question Mark caterpillars, one for Black Swallowtail caterpillars, and one for a Monarch caterpillar. During my August 30 visit a tank was being set up for Cecropia Moth caterpillars. Finally, there is a Honey Bee hive.

    Butterfly Dome
    After paying admission, you are brought to the Butterfly Dome. If it is your first visit, you must watch a video about pollinators and why they are important before entering.
    In the dome is a large outdoor area containing free-flying insects. They are mostly butterflies, but there are a few moths and dragonflies as well. Visitors may feed the lepidopterans using Gatorade on a Q-Tip. The inside of the dome is planted with mainly native plants, but there are a few non-native species here, too.
    One thing that makes BGW unique is that all stages of a butterfly's life cycle - egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult - may all be found in the dome area. Most butterfly houses only keep adults in these areas. It also, interestingly, keeps only native insects.
    There is also a terrarium in here containing Northern Leopard Frogs and an American Toad. During my August 11 visit there were some cramped bins for various pet store snakes, but they weren't there on August 30.

    Butterfly Maze
    Proclaimed as "Wisconsin's Largest Butterfly Maze", I am sure this is true - there probably aren't any others in the state. After leaving the butterfly house, if one continues on the path, they would come across two things at about the same time; a Goldfish pond and the Butterfly Maze entrance.
    What is a butterfly maze, you ask? It's simple. It's a small prairie restoration with the shape of a butterfly mowed into it. That's it. In fact, calling it a maze seems wrong. It's easy to find your way out.
    As much as I am sounding ungrateful, it is actually pretty cool - prairie restorations attract all sorts of wildlife.

    Conservation Efforts
    BGW sells native plants to visitors for their gardens. It also has a campaign to make the Monarch Wisconsin's state butterfly.

    Overall, BGW might be my candidate for the best butterfly house I have had the pleasure of visiting. You can feed the butterflies, see cool wildlife, and the butterfly area is pretty large.

    Species List
    Mammals (0 species)
    N/A
    Birds (0 species)
    N/A
    Reptiles (1 species)
    Painted Turtle
    Amphibians (3 species)
    unidentified tree frog
    Northern Leopard Frog
    American Toad
    Fish (1 species)
    Goldfish
    Inverts (16 species, not including species only represented by pupas)
    Cecropia Moth
    Question Mark
    Eastern Comma
    Black Swallowtail
    Domestic Honey Bee
    Morning Cloak
    Great Spangled Fritillary
    Monarch
    Red Admiral
    Viceroy
    Red-Spotted Purtple
    Giant Swallowtail
    Cabbage White
    Silvery Chekerspot
    unidentified underwing moth
    unidentified dragonfly
    Total: 21 species

    Awards

    Coolest Native Butterfly House

    Most Times The Word "Butterfly" Was Used In A Zoo Review

    Best Wedding Chapel Location In A Zoo

    Coolest Sculpture

    Coolest Looking Insect Larvae (Cecropia Moth Caterpillars)
     
    Brum, britishzoofan and snowleopard like this.