Experience the transformation.



May to September, 2019


Vancouver Aquarium


10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily


General Admission


Plan your trip


Experience the transformation

Our Amazon gallery is now home to beautiful butterflies. Learn all about the life-cycle of these fascinating invertebrates as you observe them up close. Watch in awe as our new residents flutter alongside sloths, parrots and tortoises, and who knows - maybe you'll be lucky enough to have one land on you!

Where do the butterflies come from?

They are part of a conservation initiative and come from Costa Rica Entomological Supply. The butterflies are shipped to the Aquarium as chrysalides. Once they arrive, we carefully hang them in a special emergent chamber to allow the butterflies to emerge safely. We release them into our Amazon rainforest free-flight gallery after they emerge. Many of the butterflies found in Costa Rica range all the way down to the Amazon rainforest. The chrysalides we receive are raised by Costa Rican butterfly farmers who plant native host plants and leave the rainforest on their land intact. This allows the butterflies to choose specific native plants on which to lay their eggs, protecting vital rainforest habitat for many other animals. By purchasing chrysalides from these farmers we are giving them an incentive to keep a diverse selection of plants on their land, rather than cutting down the native plants to grow one type of crop for harvest. It's a win for the farmers, a win for the rainforest, and a win for our visitors who get to see these beautiful tropical butterflies here in Vancouver. Each week we receive several different species of butterfly chrysalides from a list of 80 possible types, below are a few butterflies you may see on your next visit to the Vancouver Aquarium.

Wonder at our charming new residents - for a limited time only.

Malachite butterfly

Cream-spotted tigerwing butterfly

Postman butterfly

One-spotted prepone butterfly

Butterfly facts

Did you know?


A group of butterflies is called a flutter.


Butterflies taste through their feet.


More than 4,000 different types of butterflies and moths have been discovered in the Amazon – but there’s potentially many more to discover!


While Costa Rica only occupies 0.03% of the Earth’s surface, it’s home to 10% per cent of the world’s butterfly species.


The colors and patterns on a butterfly's wings have several functions – from appealing to mates to scaring away predators.


When resting, a butterfly’s tongue is coiled, and extends out straight like a straw when slurping flower nectar or a fruit’s juice.

Amazon Gallery

The butterflies are located in our Amazon Gallery

Take a break from the temperate climate of Vancouver and immerse yourself in the humidity and heat of one of the biggest ecosystems in the world. Experience the extraordinary diversity and interdependence of aquatic and terrestrial life in the Amazon as you walk through a re-creation of South America’s tropical rainforest.

Frequently Asked Butterfly Questions

Peruse some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about butterflies. The answers come from our biologists and other reputable sources.

Buy your tickets to see the butterflies today!