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What a shock for everyone. Who would have thought a few months ago that what we have all experienced around the globe with the COVID19 crisis in the past weeks would ever be possible? For once everyone seems to be sitting in the same boat, facing the same problems: the economic emergency stop has impacted all of our businesses, from the breeders and suppliers in the tropics to the exhibitors around the world. From one day to the next most were left without income. The more fortunate ones received financial help from their governement. But in many countries there is little or no public help in this crisis.

Breeders and their families in the tropics are certainly among those most affected. They are extremely dependent on butterfly farming to earn their livings and feed their families. But they are also the foundation of our entire industry. Without butterflies, no exhibits. These are the reasons why the board of IABES decided to create an IABES COVID19 relief fund. The fund contained 40’000 US$ of which about 8‘000 US$ were donated by different IABES members (exhibitors). A  big THANK YOU to the following institutions and private persons for their support:

Vlindersafari, Netherlands 

Parques de Mariposas, Spain 

Papiliorama, Switzerland 

Stratford Butterfly Farm, UK 

Papilonia Prague, Czech Republic 

Mainau, Germany

Museum of Life and Science, USA

Victoria Butterfly Garden, Canada

John Tokarck, Ashley Perish, Sarah Jenkins, Tomas Kraus, Christine Baltz

Regional coordinators were appointed by the board for each breeder country and asked to assess the need creating lists of those breeders linked directly or indirectly to IABES and most in need of help. IABES would like to thank the regional coordinators for their time and effort !

In the month of May IABES, with the help of the regional coordinators, was able to disburse the funds to a total of 519 breeders in Malaysia, the Philippines, Kenya, Tanzania, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador and Suriname. The appreciation for the grants, which in most cases equalled approximately two weeks of wages, was enormous and will surely motivate the breeders to continue working with butterflies.


Message from the President
Dear members of IABES, 

Within the last weeks, many things suddenly and dramatically changed for all of us, breeders, suppliers and exhibitors who have been connected with the IABES network for so many years.  COVID-19 and the resulting isolation of not only people but also countries has already had and will continue to have a very strong and destructive effect on every aspect of our industry.  Within the last weeks, most of the butterfly exhibits in Europe and many in the US, Asia and other countries had to close until further notice.  Most of the pupae shipments were cancelled, leaving breeders and suppliers in the tropics without business and sometimes income.  In the rare case that a butterfly exhibit is still open it seems to be impossible to receive new pupae shipments due to flight suspensions all over the world.

We are now in the centre of uncertain times.  As a truly global industry, with members everywhere and connections throughout the world, we are particularly susceptible when worldwide trade comes to a halt.  Everyone from the breeders to the suppliers who handle and distribute the pupae, to the people working in the exhibits is facing grave financial losses.  No visitors in the exhibits, no income for anyone, that´s the simple equation and sad truth.

For many of us, it is uncertain if they will be able to recover once this has passed.

For all of you with concerns and questions, please contact other IABES members or the Directors of the Board and share your experience in dealing with this situation!  Your message and advice could be support for other breeders, suppliers, and exhibitors.  IABES is proud of the accomplishments of the members, we are one big family which shares the passion for butterflies and the love of nature.  It would be strange if we do not share our grievances and frustrations together in times like these.  In doing so we could learn from each other to find new ways to overcome the problems we have to face the next coming weeks and months.

Let’s stay connected using the mailing list (, the Flutterings, social media (, and our website:

A few things are for sure; we will overcome this crisis in a long or short way, things will be different in the future, new methods will be part of our strategy. It will be a harsh and unpleasant metamorphosis, not only but especially so for the butterfly breeders, for all of us. But we know that after every big change there are new opportunities and challenges. Please be sure that IABES will be there to give all the advice and back up you need in the future.

With all regards and respect;
Louwerens-Jan Nederlof


ICBES 2020 in England CANCELLED!
The 2020 International Conference of Butterfly Exhibitors and Suppliers has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and world-wide economic concerns for our industry.  Please follow us on Facebook or watch this website for updates as we prepare for ICBES 2021.


ICBES 2019 Earlybird Discount Ending SOON!
Have you registered for the International Conference of Butterfly Exhibitors and Suppliers yet? Have you reserved a room at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando? Although the conference isn’t until November, you will want to reserve your place BEFORE JULY 1 to take advantage of the $50 early-bird registration discount. Space is limited at the hotel and on the post-conference trip, so sign up soon for those as well.

Visit the IABES website at to get more details about the meetings, to register for the conference, and to see who else has already registered. We are excited to see many familiar friends coming, and lots of new faces as well. We are confident that this will be the most important conference of the year for anyone involved with butterfly exhibits or the farms that supply pupae to them.

To reserve a room at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, contact the hotel directly at +1-800-627-8258. Be sure to mention that you are with the “International Association of Butterfly Exhibitors and Suppliers Conference” to receive the conference rate of US$139.00 per night per room (plus taxes). Additional guests per room can be added for US$20 per guest, with children under 17 years old at no charge.
You can also reserve rooms online by clicking on this link: RESERVE A ROOM FOR IABES AT ROSEN PLAZA
SPACE IS LIMITED! They are holding 50 rooms for our group, and once those are gone it may be challenging to find other accommodations. Please make your room reservations as soon as possible, and if you would like to share a room with someone, let us know. For more information about the Rosen Plaza Hotel, visit their website at

Most conference delegates are arriving in Orlando on Monday, November 4. Rachel will be at the registration table all day Monday to greet you and check you in. The conference will begin that evening at 6:00 pm. Be sure to arrive in time to hear Andrea Schepmann’s inspiring keynote presentation entitled “State-of-the-Art Butterfly Shows in a Historic Greenhouse: 25 Years and Still Flying High!” about the annual butterfly shows at the Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati, Ohio. This will be followed by an ice-breaker at the hotel.

If you have any questions about the conference details, please contact Mike ( or Dan ( for more information.

We can’t wait to see you in Orlando in November!

Dan, Mike, Rachel, and Rich


ICBES 2019 Venue Update
ICBES 2019, November 4 – 8, 2019
Hotel Update!

Hello Butterfly Exhibitors and Suppliers!

We are very excited to announce that the award-winning Rosen Plaza Hotel ( will be the meeting and lodging venue for the International Association of Butterfly Exhibitors and Suppliers 2019 conference in November. The Rozen Plaza Hotel is centrally located at the heart of International Drive in Orlando, Florida. It is a perfect location not only for conference attendees but also for family members who might want to visit any of the many Orlando-area theme parks, most only minutes away from the hotel. In addition, the Rosen Plaza is located directly across the street from Pointe Orlando, an upscale dinning, shopping, and entertainment complex.

The dining options at the Rosen Plaza Hotel include casual fine dining at Jack’s Place featuring steaks and seafood, and casual dining at Café Matisse that includes a buffet option. There is also Lite Bite Express, where you can get sandwiches, home-made pizza, and grab-and-go snacks 24 hours a day.

For drinks, they have the Lobby Bar and the Poolside Bar and Grill, as well as the 3 Nine Entertainment Venue, where we plan to have our ice-breaker party the first night of the conference. The ice-breaker party will be preceded by the keynote address to be presented by a colleague who has revolutionized the art of creating exciting Annual Temporary Butterfly Exhibits – stay tuned for more information on this special guest speaker to be announced in our next update. We are looking for sponsors that want to help with the costs of this event and others, so let us know if you are interested in being a sponsor at the conference.

A large conference room has been reserved for our meetings and presentations. The room also has space for vendor tables. Contact Mike ( if you know a vendor that might like to exhibit their products at the conference.

The Rosen Plaza Hotel will be setting aside a block of rooms at a special rate of $139.00 per night (plus taxes and fees that will bring the actual estimated total to $157.95 per night). Considering the location and what the Rosen Plaza Hotel is offering us, we believe this is great deal! Note that this is a per room rate, and you can save more money by sharing the hotel cost with a roommate. For those conference delegates who will have a car, the hotel is also offering a reduced parking fee of only $7.00 per day for our conference attendees.

We have heard from many of you that you need to know how much the conference will cost so that you can budget for it. We don’t yet have the exact figures for the meeting registration amount but are working hard to keep that cost down. To reduce registration costs, we are seeking sponsors who would like to donate to the conference in exchange for recognition and acknowledgement at the meetings. If you are interested in sponsoring any of the breakfasts, bus rides, coffee breaks, or the ice-breaker, please contact Mike (

We should have the final meeting registration fee determined by late-March, at which time we will also have online registration available on the IABES website ( In March we will also have a link on the IABES website you can use to reserve a room at the Rosen Plaza Hotel at our special IABES conference discounted rate. Please note that the meeting registration fee will NOT include the hotel room, which delegates will need to reserve separately.

As we said in the last email, this will be a conference that you won’t want to miss if you are involved with exhibiting living butterflies for public display. You need not be a member of IABES to attend, but there will be a yet-to-be-determined discounted conference registration rate for IABES members. If you are not yet a member of the International Association of Butterfly Exhibitors and Suppliers, you might consider joining before the conference. You can learn more about IABES membership on the website at

We are also working on the details for the meeting program and special guest speakers. Details and costs are also still being negotiated for the post-conference trip (November 8 – 11) to visit butterfly exhibits in Southern Florida. All of these will be announced in future email updates.

Please let us know if you plan to attend so that we can get an estimate of how many people will be there. Alternatively, let us know if you do not wish to receive any future emails about this conference.

Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando in November!
Dan, Mike, Rachel, and Rich


Call for Nominations for New Board Members 2019
Another year is coming to an end and it is time, again, to elect board members. These dedicated individuals will have the privilege and responsibility to represent you, our members, and make decisions that will help our organization grow and flourish. If you would like to participate in our organization’s future or know of a great candidate for the board, please send your nomination to your liaison or one of the current board members Voting will begin at the start of December.

Deadline for Nominations is November 18th.




Join us for the 20th annual International Conference of Butterfly Exhibitors & Suppliers!  We are celebrating 20 years at the location of one of the greatest success stories in all of the butterfly exhibition industry: the Arabuko Sokoke forest.  This will be the first time the conference is held in Kenya. 

ICBES 2018 Logo Full - IABES 2024


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!
 St. Martin2  St. Martin4  St. Martin7


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

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

Butterfly Wonderland 01  El Conquistador Resort

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..

Maria Gerlinde - IABES 2024

Maria Chantal - IABES 2024

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..

Philaetria dido2 - IABES 2024

 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.

Gynandromorph - IABES 2024

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.

Jamaica%20April%202010%20012 - IABES 2024

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.

Penang - IABES 2024

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.

Psiguria01 - IABES 2024

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.

Martin%20Feather - IABES 2024

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.