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Butterfly Forest

This exciting exhibit features spectacular butterfly and moth species from across the world. Taking the theme of a tropical rainforest, the undercover walk-through is surrounded by a landscaped nectar garden, immersing you in a butterfly paradise as you wander freely through a colourful array of butterflies, moths and flowers.

Butterflies are found in almost every part of the world, from the arctic to the tropics, and are incredibly diverse – with around 18,000 known species. In recent years, this diversity has declined dramatically, mainly due to human activity such as agriculture, logging and urban expansion. When you visit Bristol Zoo, you can learn about the conservation of rare invertebrate species and their habitats.

Butterfly species

• owl butterfly

• postman butterfly


• zebra-winged butterfly


• blambeau butterfly


• glasswing butterfly


• the Christmas swallowtail

• the blue morpho

Moth species

• comet moth

• atlas moth

How to attract butterflies to your garden

Butterflies will visit any garden, however small, if they can feed from suitable nectar plants. Choose sunny, sheltered spots when planting as butterflies like warmth, and choose lots of different nectar plants to increase the number of species you attract. It also helps if you put similar plants together. And bear in mind, original plant species provide much more nectar than hybrids.

Try to plant flowers right through the butterfly season from spring to autumn. Spring flowers are vital for butterflies coming out of hibernation and autumn flowers help butterflies build up their reserves for winter.

Prolong flowering by deadheading flowers, mulching with organic compost, and watering well to keep the plants healthy. Well-watered plants will produce far more nectar for hungry butterflies.

To find out which plants attract butterflies, click on the PDF below – Or visit www.butterfly-conservation.org for more advice on attracting butterflies to your garden.

Download: Food plants for butterflies