How Butterflies Spread Their Wings

butterfly emergence cases with butterflies drying their wings

One of the highlights of any Reiman Gardens visit is watching butterfly pupae open before your very eyes in the glass-walled incubation chambers. You can see the butterflies emerge and hang upside down from their chrysalis as they start to spread their wings for the first time. Almost magically, during a period of a half-hour to two hours, depending on the species, you can watch them unfurl themselves using a special liquid their bodies produce called meconium. You can even sometimes see the meconium dripped on the trays in the incubator. Learn more about this fascinating process on YouTube.

Prepared by Nathan Brockman – Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing Curator