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photo(9)Smithsonian Butterfly Pavilion

The Butterfly pavilion at the Natural History Museum  in DC offers visitors a rare opportunity to get close to a variety of living butterflies from all over the world. It is a tropical oasis in a big city where one could come and for 6$$ (adults) enjoy a company of the must beautiful creatures. And they are very friendly. The butterflies in the Smithsonian Butterfly pavilion are not shy at all. They do not hesitate to fly among the visitors and even land gracefully on one’s arms and pose for photographs (no fee).

The poster at the doors said that the exhibition shows more than 300 tropical butterflies. I did not count so many, but I did  count at least 30 different species, which is a lot (ALot of butterflies). It was fun to watch how the inhabitants of the pavilion interact with plants and each other – because many of them had no chance to meet in real – they came from different places and even from different continents. And new species are introduces every week. So on my next visit I would see new ones!

a larva of the tobacco moth

The the tobacco hornworm, – a larva of the tobacco moth (Manduca sexta). The lady who watched butterflies was kind and let me hold the caterpillar. It was huge, it feels like holding a mouse. And at the end it pooped on me

Paper Kite (Idea leuconoe).

Paper Kite (Idea leuconoe). Family: Nymphalidae (brush-footed butterflies).
Geographic distribution: Asia. Thailand to Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan

 I could not identify this gorgeous butterfly

Nothing could distract the butterfly busy with a pineapple. I could not identify this gorgeous specie wit velvet wings and big “eyes”. For me it was the jewel of the exposition.

Tanzanian Diadem (Hypolimnas antevorta)

Tanzanian Diadem (Hypolimnas antevorta) at rest. Geographic Distribution: Africa. Northeast Tanzania (Usambara Mountains).

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) common in North America, you can meet it near woodlands and edges, pine barrens, and wooded swamps.

Owl Butterfly (Caligo memnon)

Owl Butterfly (Caligo memnon). Geographic Distribution: North, Central and South America. Widespread and common throughout southern Mexico, Central and South America, Trinidad and Tobago.

We actually saw its species in our local park.

Orchard Swallowtail, Citrus Swallowtail (Papilio demodocus)

This beauty looks like Orchard Swallowtail or Citrus Swallowtail (Papilio demodocus) for me, but i am not sure. Habitat: Africa, Cultivated land and tropical forest.

photo(11)

This graceful creature is also one of the swallowtails

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This one looks like Tiger Longwing (Heliconius hecale) for me. Geographic Distribution: North, Central and South America. Mexico to Peruvian Amazon.