Latest News

Hurrican Irma destroys butterfly farm on St. Martin

In early September of this year, St. Martin/St. Maarten was hit fiercely by Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane with maximum winds of 185mph and gusts of 220mph. Due to the intensely strong winds and the sheer strength of the hurricane, it came to no surprise to those who witnessed it, that there was not much left standing on the island, literally, a few hours later. An estimated 90% of the island's structures suffered minor to absolute destruction and unfortunately, the Butterfly Farm was no exception to this. The structure was almost entirely destroyed, even the container that held the gift shop did not hold up and the garden which was left unrecognisable will take years to grow back into what it was. The destruction left those who love the Farm and all of its butterflies, caterpillars and plants with aching hearts. Moving forward, we are trying to remain hopeful regarding rebuilding!

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IABES members help typhoon victims in the Philippines

In an effort to help recover from the disaster, repair homes and put Filipino lives back together IABES asked its members for donations. IABES is happy to announce that the goal of US$ 5’000 was surpassed. To date the following institutions have donated:

The Butterfly Palace, US 2‘000 US$

Max Shure, US 1‘000 US$

Stratford Butterfly Farm, UK 500 US$

Papiliorama Foundation, Switzerland 500 US$

Antwerp Zoo, Belgium 500 US$

De Orchideeenhoeve, Netherlands 300 US$

Magic Wings, Museum of Life and Science, US 250 US$

Victoria Butterfly Garden, Canada 200 US$

Kipepeo Project, Kenya 190 US$

Sarah Moore, US 100 US$

Vlindersafari, Netherlands 100 US$

Since the typhoon Elizabeth Heitzmann, owner of Flora Farm and IABES board member, has relentlessly been coordinating the collection of relief goods and asking for help in the local media. She also approached IABES asking for support. Meanwhile the IABES donations have been transferred to the Philippines and Elizabeth is overseeing the distribution to the breeders. The money will mainly be used for new roofing. The Butterfly Palace, US 2‘000 US$ Max Shure, US 1‘000 US$ Stratford Butterfly Farm, UK 500 US$ Papiliorama Foundation, Switzerland 500 US$ Antwerp Zoo, Belgium 500 US$ De Orchideeenhoeve, Netherlands 300 US$ Magic Wings, Museum of Life and Science, US 250 US$ Victoria Butterfly Garden, Canada 200 US$ Kipepeo Project, Kenya 190 US$ Sarah Moore, US 100 US$ Vlindersafari, Netherlands 100 US$ 

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Typhoon Nina has devastated the butterfly breeders in the Philippines.

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Many IABES members either breed butterflies in the Philippines or import butterflies from the Philippines… at least until now.  Wide-spread destruction resulting from the 100+ mph winds of Typhoon Nina (aka Typhoon Nock-ten) has left many breeders without homes – especially on the island of Mariduque where most of the Philippines butterflies come from.  IABES is joining the effort to help recover from the disaster, repair homes, and put Filipino lives back together.  And we need your help!

Our modest goal of US$5000.00 will help replace roofs and allow breeders to get back on their feet.  Anything you can send will help!

Use IABES donation page ( and indicate “Nina” in the Notes field;

or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Let’s join forces to support our industry partners!!



IABES Conference 2016 in Arizona 

ICBES 2016 was a huge success! Eight countries were represented by over 130 delegates, over 30 of who are IABES members. Hussein, from Kipepeo in Kenya, attended and for the first time discussed face-to-face with Rich Cowan of LPS and Wayne Wehling of the USDA the issues facing transportation of butterflies between Africa and the US. A resolution may be on the horizon! The brand new IABES website was announced and went live! Two keynote speakers, one monarch expert, one Homerus expert, taught us all about these incredible and threatened species and what we can do to help. Separate meetings of IABES delegates and IABES Board of Directors made extensive progress on the conservation efforts of our Association. A field trip to Butterfly Wonderland allowed members to see one of the newest and largest butterfly exhibits in the United States – absolutely spectacular! Over 35 presentations, workshops, and roundtables covered all topics from invertebrate husbandry, to education techniques, to marketing and advertising methods, to butterfly exhibit best practices, and even how to cook and eat insects! And everyone was fully immersed in the incredibly unique and fascinating desert ecosystems of the American Southwest, where over 10 species of native butterflies were seen.

Watch for the next issue of Flutterings for more detailed updates. And check the website often for new postings from the conference.

Countries: Kenya, US, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, Italy, Costa Rica, Netherlands

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Dreamnight at the zoo 2016

In the past weeks severyl IABES member institutions celebrated a traditional „Dreamnight at the Zoo“. Dreamnight at the Zoo is a movement initiated in 1996 by the Zoo of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The idea is to invite chronically ill and disabled children and their families to the zoo or butterfly house after the normal opening hours and to offer them a relaxed evening with fun, games and a nice meal. The date is usually the first Friday evening in June, but of course any date is possible The number of participants and attractions offered depends entirely on the possibilities of the institution. Many institutions seek sponsoring for this special event, for example from their suppliers or a partner. One thing all Dreamngihts have in common is a very magical atmosphere. The children and their families are extremely greatful to be able to spend an evening out together with other families in the same situation and leave behind their problems for a few hours. Please join this wonderful movement and become one of the 300 institutions worldwide who celebrate a Dreamnight:   

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IABES Conference 2015 in the Philippines

The IABES International conference 2015 was held from the 2nd to 9th of November on the island of Marinduque in the Philippines. Host Elizabeth Heitzmann (Flora Farm and IABES board member) put together a fantastic programme with blocks for presentations/discussions and field trips. The highlights were the visits to some of the many  Marinduque butterfly farmers. It was an extremely interesting experience to see where the bulk of the many Philippine pupae exported worldwide every year are producted. The farmers on Marinduque alone produce over 1 million pupae a year, even though most of them are small scale breeders. Nevertheless the positive impact of the butterfly industry on the livelyhood of the breeder families is an important social and economic factor on Marinduque (and elsewhere in the Philippines).  
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Mombasa Visits Switzerland and Germany

Spring Greetings from Papiliorama-Switzerland & Garten der Schmetterlinge Schloss Sayn-Germany.

My name is Maria Fungomeli from Kenya, the Curator & Research Scientist of the Mombasa Butterfly House. I am on a Butterfly house learning visit to Switzerland & Germany. I aim to gain skills, knowledge and networking in exhibit management. The training will be instrumental in managing and running the recently opened Mombasa Butterfly House in Kenya.
Mombasa Butterfly House located at the Fort Jesus Museum UNESCO World Heri-tage Site is a Project of the National Museums of Kenya, within the Biodiversity De-partment and funded by USAID. The main objective is to link sustainable forest conservation to local community livelihoods by serving as a local market for butter-fly pupa from butterfly farmers adjacent to coastal forests. 

Read more..


Report from the 2014 IABES Conference in France

This year's IABES European Conference 2014 was held in the Alsace in France and hosted by Martin and Beatrice Bueche.

Representatives from over 15 organizations arrived in France on the Monday with people attending from as far as India, Costa Rica and the Philippines. It was a fantastic full 3 days with far too much to cover in one article but here is a quick overview of the conference.

The conference began on the Tuesday with a talk from Enzo Moretto about 'The last possible flight of the monarch'. Although the Monarch itself is not endangered, the migration process may be. Enzo talked about the various natural and human endangerments that are affecting the monarchs including the use of systemic pesticides in the US and deforestation in Mexico...

Read more..

 IABES conferences 2014

IABES European conference in Alsace, France
The conference will be hosted by Martin and Béatrice Bueche of Jardin des Papillons in Hunawihr, France.
Conference dates: Monday, 27th to Friday, 31st of October 2014
Read more..


IABES session at IECC in Arizona, US
IABES will be hosting a session with three papers at the Invertebrates in Education and Conservation Conference (IECC), which is to be held from the 22nd to 26th of July in Rio Roco, Arizona.
Read more..


IABES conference in conjunction with IBBA in Florida, US
IABES will also be holding a three day conference in conjunction with the International Butterfly Breeders Association (IBBA) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from the 12th to 15th of November 2014.
Read more..

 Raising Atlas moths: A Quick Host Plant Comparison

By Celeste Poorte, Rearing Coordinator at the Cockrell Butterfly Center

Atlas moths (Atticus atlas) make superb additions to the Cockrell Butterfly Center. During the day, they spend most of their time motionless, clinging to the side of a tree or other surface. Visitors can thus get up close, to intimately study these creatures, and can clearly observe their fat, furry bodies, fuzzy antennae, and teddy bear like expressions.


Read more in the International Flutterings V13N1.



Butterfly with a rare condition emerges at Cockrell Butterfly Centre

The Cockrell Butterfly Center has had the privi-lege of witnessing a rare natural phenomenon! On July 10, 2013 a very unusual butterfly emerged from its chrysalis in the museum's greenhouses used for breeding and raising but-terflies. This butterfly has a bilateral division: one side is female while the other is male. This condition is known as gynandromorphy. The term derives from the Greek "gyne" (female) and "andro" (male). This extraordinary butterfly is of the species known as the Great Southern White (Ascia monuste).


Read more in the International Flutterings V12N5.

News from IABES Homerus Project in Jamaica 

A year of fieldwork in the kingdom of Homerus Swallowtail, Jamaica

Our Jamaican Biologist Herlitz Davis carried out close to 65 visits in the western part of Cockpit Country, both in areas known to be home to Homerus populations, as well as areas to the West of the main bulk of Cockpit Country (i.e. the forest islands West of the road going through the area). Most of these data are shown on a map prepared by the undersigned, in order to illustrate pre-liminary conclusions. Being preliminary, these conclusions must of course be taken with caution. The data were gathered for the greater part by Herlitz during the aforementioned period, while some recent historical data, as well as data gath-ered by other scientists, are included.

Read more in the International Flutterings V12N6.

Relooking of Penang Butterfly Farm

Penang Butterfly Farm was inaugurated on the 29th of March 1986 as the first live butterfly garden in the tropical world. It has two main objectives, which are to function as a tourist destination and to serve as a centre for education, recreation and scientific research.

Today the public farm is 27 years old. The long journey, prior to its 25th Anniversary Celebration, was challengingly rug-ged, just like the more than 3 decades of frequent field trips into the remote parts of many islands in The Malay Archipel-ago. The farm was struggling to ensure its benchmark of being an efficient and well-maintained facility through frequent up-grading and regular changes (often every 2 to 3 years) to provide a satisfying and varied educational experience to its visitors, especially to the repeat customers.
As an entirely private project, in which every single cent we spend has to be earned, we have finally managed to accu-mulate enough funds to reinvent the facility and a major make-over was undertaken at a cost of more than two million ringgits (approximately US$700,000). The public facility had to be closed for 40 days in order to complete the transfor-mation which was done within a time-frame of approximately two months.

Read more in the International Flutterings V12N5.

Plants for Butterflies: Psiguria

Look out! Sex-change can occur in your butterfly exhibit...

As John Watts nicely explained in the April–June 2009 issue of International Flutterings, species of pygmy melons, Psiguria and Gurania , are not only beautiful ornamental flowers for live butterfly exhibits, they also provide pollen for Heliconius butterflies which is di-gested, prolonging life and increasing reproduction.

Therefore, what you really want are male flowers since only they contain pollen....

Read more in the International Flutterings V12N4.

New Butterfly Conservatory at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

By Hal Felman

Butterfly dreams do come true if you are Martin Feather. Martin is the curator and exhibit manager for the new Butterfly Con-servatory at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. After 10 years of planning and two years of construction, the "Wings of the Tropics" Clinton Family Conservatory opened its doors on December 1st to around 1500 enthusiastic guests.

Read more in the International Flutterings V12N2.

Puddling Behaviour and Diversity of Butterflies in Barra Honda National Park in Costa Rica

By Marsha Jacobs

Butterflies feed themselves with flowers, pollen, mud, carrion, dung, fruit, fungi, tree sap, fruit juice, blood, sweat and tears. The main function of puddling is not to obtain energy but is a form of supplementary feeding for special micronutrients. This fact challenged me to investigate that in Barra Honda National Park in Costa Rica. I wasthere for my internship (February 2012 until June 2012) to study Applied Biology.

In the past, there has been some research focusing on butterflies in Barra Honda National in Costa Rica. The butterflies were captured by using traps and an attractant of rotten banana and pineapple. The main goal of these studies was to develop a theory about the composition of species and the distribution and characteristics of the butterflies in Barra Honda National Park. That is why the data collected is still being reviewed. Butterfly traps are used to investigate the puddling behavior of butterflies. For the research described in the paper the main research question is: With what attractant can you attract a particular butterfly species, and what is the distribution of butterfly species in Barra Honda National Park?

The research question is answered using butterfly traps. Two different types of attractant are used, namely fish combined with salt and dung from cows. Three different research areas were chosen; near the border of the park, near the public area, and into the forest. Comparisons are made between the research areas in order to see the different effects of research areas on the butterfly species. Four butterfly species and one moth species were captured when using the attractant fish combined with salt and dung of cows. The moth species originate from the Spingidae family. This is an important species for the National Park as it is a major pollinator. Nevertheless, the butterfly species (Smirna blomfilda datis, Hamadryas glauconome glauconome and Adelpha doxocopa) are also of great importance for the biodiversity in the National Park.

Based on prior research (attractant rotten banana and pineapple) it can be concluded that the dry season shows significantly less number of butterflies compared to the rainy season. Furthermore the research areas near the border of the park and near the public area, have significantly higher rates of butterflies incomparison with the research area into the forest. Moreover, the butterfly Smirna blomfilda datis has significantly more butterflies in all research areas than other butterfly species.





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