ENCLOSURE AT THE COASTAL DISCOVERY MUSEUM A POPULAR ATTRACTION FOR ALL AGES
The Karen Wertheimer Butterfl y Enclosure at the Coastal Discovery Museum opened in June 2009 and is still a favorite attraction to those that visit Hilton Head Island.
The screened structure is 1,200 square feet, surrounded by countless plants and features pilings sizable enough to secure it during a hurricane.
A variety of nectar plants to feed adult butterflies and many host plants to feed the butterfly larvae are located both inside and outside the enclosure.
The enclosure serves as an informative laboratory to nurture and cultivate butterflies that are commonly found in the Lowcountry. At any given time, it is home to the monarch, Gulf fritillary, zebra longwing, giant swallowtail, spicebush swallowtail, cloudless sulphur, zebra swallowtail, pipevine swallowtail, black swallowtail, queen and palamedes swallowtail.
Inside the enclosure, visitors will learn about the lifecycle through interpretive panels, or taking a guided tour with a museum docent. They also have the opportunity to touch a live caterpillar, see a butterfly in all four stages of their metamorphosis, learn about their habitat and more when they visit.
Adult butterflies rarely live more than a couple of weeks. However, the enclosure and care from volunteers combine to ensure caterpillar survival rates of 90 percent compared to 2 percent in nature.
The enclosure is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Guided tours are available on Mondays at 10 a.m. and at 3 p.m. Wednesdays. The cost for the tours is $10 for an adult and $5 for children ages 4-12.
For reservations, call 843- 689-6767, ext. 223.