Oct 15th, 2014

Tropical Butterflies Take a Trip to Tucson

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Rachel Robbins, butterfly whisperer, rounding up butterflies with her hands!

Rachel Robbins, butterfly whisperer, rounding up butterflies with her hands!

One of the most common questions we get is what do we do with the butterflies after the Butterflies LIVE! exhibit ends. Monday we had a “butterfly round-up” in the Conservatory as we chased down butterflies in butterfly nets & got them ready for their trip to Tucson Botanical Garden’s Butterfly Magic exhibit. First we used a bit of water to coax them to where we could reach them with nets, then we collected them in butterfly carriers. Finally  we pack them in boxes in a Styrofoam cooler with ice packs so that they slow down and go into a sleep-like state for the trip. Then we ship them overnight.

Annie Raup, Lead Butterfly Curator said they spent from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. rounding up the butterflies.  In total, we sent 194 butterflies and 36 chrysalides to Tucson. Stay tuned, we hope to post photos of those butterflies in their new home soon!

Rachel Robbins & butterfly

Rachel’s got the net ready, but this one (top of frame) got away.

The team with their nets.

Rounding up butterflies is not as easy as it looks.

Alex with a butterfly

Can you tell Alex Studd-Sojka loves her job as butterfly curator?

Butterfly curators working to round up the butterflies.

Butterfly curators Rachel Robbins & Annie Raup rounding-up the butterflies.

I made a 10-second Instagram / YouTube video of the process too. Check it out!

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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