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Butterflies return to Indy Zoo!

Vibrant swirls of living color will fill the air as Butterfly Kaleidoscope, presented by Citizens Energy Group, returns to the Indianapolis Zoo. Featuring thousands of these wonderful winged insects free-flying inside a tropical paradise, guests can experience this exhibit from March 20 through Sept. 7 in the Hilbert Conservatory at White River Gardens.

This year, Butterfly Kaleidoscope will highlight more than 45 species representing six continents. Guests can get close to some of the world’s largest butterflies, including the blue morpho, giant owl and New Guinea birdwing — each with a wingspan of up to 8 inches. Among the other radiant varieties are the mostly translucent Costa Rica clear wing and the intricately detailed Tanzanian sunset moth, one of the unique moth species that are also part of this awe-inspiring seasonal exhibit.

Additionally, several Indiana butterflies can also be found in this year’s mix, such as the cloudless giant Sulphur and the American painted lady.

For ideas to attract these and other butterflies to their own backyards, home gardeners will also enjoy the native pollinator garden located just outside the Conservatory. Each day inside the Conservatory, visitors can witness the incredible metamorphosis process unfolding inside an emergence chamber. Timed daily releases will provide an opportunity for guests to have a close encounter, and a newly emerged butterfly may even pause momentarily on a guest’s hand before taking its first flight.

To complete the feeling of being inside an immense kaleidoscope, the Conservatory is filled with colorful accents from beautiful artistic elements like stained glass window panels, handblown glass feeders and a bright build-a-butterfly activity wall for children.

Admission to White River Gardens, including the Hilbert Conservatory and Butterfly Kaleidoscope, is free for Zoo members and included with regular Zoo admission. The zoo is located at 1200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis 46222. For more info, visit

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