Butterflies and moths are colorful, mystical and sometimes iridescent. They are some of the most unique members of the insect world.
At Butterfly Wonderland, located in Scottsdale, Ariz., visitors can see and interact with these creatures up close.
“We have two to three thousand butterflies at any one time in the conservatory,” said Dayna Cooper, entomologist, horticulturist and curator of Butterfly Wonderland. “We usually have 40 to 50 different species.”
Cocoons are sent in from all over the globe to fill the 10,000 square-foot conservatory. Cooper said it is the largest atrium of its kind in the nation, and houses butterflies native to South America, Southeast Asia and other distant lands.
“I think it’s amazing,” said Katie Fritz, a Tucson native, who visited the exhibit with her family. “I’ve already had a couple of butterflies land on me, and it’s a really cool experience.”
While many visitors come for entertainment and to see the butterflies’ beauty, the attraction also offers visitors a chance to learn about science and nature.
Chrysalids - in the case of butterflies- and cocoons -which turn into moths- are kept at the exhibit and serve to teach people about the insects’ metamorphosis.
Others come to this conservatory for more personal reasons.
Patty Corbelli visited Butterfly Wonderland on what would’ve been her mother’s 69 birthday.
Corbelli's mother passed away Sept. 2013, after a year-long battle with cancer. Her mom had a fascination with butterflies.
“We didn’t get to come here,” Corbelli said. “I was hoping she would last a little longer so we would be able to see the butterflies together.”