What do the blues and blue butterflies have in common? You’d be surprised! And you can learn at a spectacular, interactive, family-friendly event happening over the next 3 weeks. There will even be a special event-within-an-event happening February 4-5.

Photo courtesy of Claire Cohen

The Butterfly House in Chesterfield reopened on Tuesday, January 31 after being closed for a month for annual maintenance.  The house is happy to be hosting its annual Morpho Mardi Gras: Bugs, Butterflies, and Beads. This family-friendly event is a great way to celebrate the Mardi Gras season as the staff of The Butterfly House floods the Tropical Conservatory with thousands of blue morpho butterflies.

The house received the year’s first shipment of blue morpho butterflies last week from El Bosque Nuevo, the nonprofit butterfly farm they partner with in Costa Rica. More than 1,200 morphos arrived in the shipment, quite a contrast to normal butterfly shipments which would only contain approximately 75 of this particular stunning species. Hundreds more morphos will be arriving in the coming weeks, resulting in a spectacular sea of blue beauties.

Photo courtesy of Margaret Schmidt

True to its name, the blue morpho butterfly has bright blue wings edged with black. With wings spanning from 5 to 8 inches, it’s among the largest butterflies in the world. The morpho’s brilliant, iridescent blue coloring is due to microscopic light-reflecting scales on the backs of its wings. In contrast, the underside of the morpho’s wings is dull brown with many “eyespots.” These conspicuous circular patterns intimidate predators, so when a morpho’s wings are closed, it’s protected against birds and insects. When the blue morpho flies, the two contrasting colors flash, making it appear as if the morpho is appearing and disappearing.

The Butterfly House will be open for Morpho Mardis Gras until February 21, Tuesdays-Sundays
from 10 am to 4 pm  each day.

Partnering with the National Blues Museum, the Butterfly House discovered parallels between blues music and butterfly biology. The result is dynamic interpretive signage that discusses shared concepts of roots, scales, rhythm, migration, and diversity.

Photo courtesy of Margaret Schmidt

During “Bugs, Rhythm, and Blues,” a special event on February 4 and 5, visitors will be entertained by the sounds of kid-friendly jazz, have a chance to make festive crafts, and explore the “instrument petting zoo” with the National Blues Museum.

To learn more and purchase tickets, flutter your finger or mouse here.