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Insect Lore Live Butterfly Pavilion

The 2-foot tall Butterfly Pavilion “pops-up” easily. Hang it from a string or set it on a table-top. The see-through mesh and zippered entry allow easy access for care and feeding. Includes habitat, mail-in coupon for 6-10 Painted Lady butterfly larvae with special food and complete instructions. Please be advised that there is an additional $5.00 required when redeeming your coupon for shipping and handling. Available only in the Continental U.S. and Alaska.Experience nature up close with the Live Butterfly Pavilion from Insect Lore. This enthralling educational kit gives kids the opportunity to observe butterflies through every stage of their lifecycle. Children ages four and up can observe ten real caterpillars eat and grow to form their chrysalis, then emerge as Painted Lady butterflies. Children will love feeding the butterflies in their included observation habitat and then releasing them into the wild.

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Live Butterfly Pavilion
At a Glance:

Age: 4 years and up

Requirements:Larvae, which are available with the included mail-in coupon ($5 shipping and handling required; ships to all U.S. states except Hawaii).

Warranty: Insect Lore guarantees that at least 6 of the 10 butterfly larvae sent through the mail will metamorphose into adult butterflies.

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Live Butterfly Pavilion

Watch larvae turn into butterflies! View larger.

Live Butterfly Pavilion - What's in the Box

2-foot habitat, guide, dropper, and coupon. View larger.

Live Caterpillars Mailed Directly to You
The Butterfly Pavilion comes with a coupon to send away for ten caterpillars. The caterpillars are hatched from eggs in a butterfly nursery and mailed to your home in a special clear container, complete with caterpillar food.

Live Caterpillars

Live caterpillars and food

Keeping the caterpillars out of direct sunlight, children can watch them eat, grow, and after seven to ten days, form their chrysalides and begin their transformation into butterflies. The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly normally takes two to three weeks: seven to ten days in caterpillar stage, and seven to ten days in chrysalis stage. Insect Lore guarantees that at least six of the ten caterpillars you receive will grow into adult butterflies.

Observe the Metamorphosis Up Close
The Butterfly Pavilion comes with a pop-up butterfly observation habitat, which is a cylindrical mesh container measuring 2 feet tall. Once the caterpillars become chrysalides, they can be transferred to the habitat, where they will complete their transformation into adult Painted Lady butterflies. Children will be excited to keep a close eye on the changing chrysalides and watch this seemingly magical metamorphosis.

Your Very Own Butterflies
Once the butterflies emerge, children can have lots of fun feeding them and watching them eat. The kit comes with a dropper for squeezing sugar water into the habitat for the butterflies to drink. It is recommended that flowers be placed in the habitat for the butterflies to rest on while they enjoy their meals. Kids will delight in observing the butterflies unfurl their proboscises to suck up the sugar water.

If you receive your butterflies during warmer weather, when temperatures are above 55 degrees, you can experience the excitement of releasing the butterflies into the wild. Caterpillars are available for delivery year-round, so if yours arrive in a colder month, you can keep your fully-grown butterflies in the mesh habitat for their lifespan, which is about two to four weeks.

Additional mail-in certificates are available for order, so once you’ve released your butterflies, you can reuse the Butterfly Pavilion and experience the magic of metamorphosis again and again.

What’s in the Box
Mesh butterfly habitat, feeding dropper, activity guide, complete instructions, and mail-in coupon for ten caterpillars and food

Product Features

  • Caterpillars become butterflies before their curious eyes
  • Become a butterfly farmer
  • Comes with certificate for 6-10 caterpillars, a 2 foot tall pop-up pavilion with zippered entry, feeding eyedropper and guide
  • Available only in the Continental USA and Alaska
  • Requires an additional $5 priority shipping fee for the caterpillar
  • Mature butterflies take about 2 weeks to develop and may be released outdoors in temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Please allow 2 weeks for larvae to arrive on your doorstep

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Tags: Insect, Live, Lore, butterfly, Pavilion


  1. Ben and Nate Bradley and their mom (Kris) says:

    Wonderful–Raise generations of butterflies! My son (age 5) got this from his grandparents for Christmas and it has been terrific fun for all of us. The first set of ten caterpillars grew visibly day-by-day, then pupated and emerged as butterflies in a few weeks. There is a lot of great information about painted lady and other butterfly species online and having this project got my son very interested in how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly so soon I found myself showing him multi-colored pictures of imaginal discs (the larval structures that produce the butterfly wing, leg etc. during metamorphosis) online at websites I found–a great way to get him interested in developmental biology. The first time we talked about this he decided they were actually “magical discs”, given what these groups of cells can do…the whole process has been very entertaining for the whole family…. It is also really fun to have butterflies flitting around and caterpillars growing in the pavilion in the kitchen when it is gray and wintery outside.How to raise more than one generation of critters inside:Since we sent our coupon for larvae out immediately after Christmas, we had butterflies dancing around the pavilion and mating in February when there were no plants outside to collect for the next generation of caterpillars to eat. Anticipating this, I ordered a mallow plant and some additional larval food from Carolina Biological Supply Company at about the time when our caterpillars turned into chrysalises: there is an online store and the stuff to get is the L918 culture medium (144040). This will feed about 80 larvae. (Unfortunately the Insect Lore company, which makes the Pavilion, only sells caterpillar food in small quantities along with additional larvae, which we certainly didn’t need).How to do it: We set the mallow plant in the pavilion and the butterflies laid their eggs on the leaves where we could watch them darken and emerge as very tiny 1mm long new caterpillars. After 4-5 days of watching the caterpillars eat the mallow plant (making little tracks on the leaves) we prepared them new homes in caterpillar media. To do this, you can use either the original plastic containers that the first generation larvae are shipped in (clean them out and dish wash them) or use another small clear-sided plastic or glass jar with a lid. Clean the containers well (I wiped the inside with a paper towel with isopropyl alcohol on it after dishwashing to kill bacteria, which will contaminate the food and make the larvae sick). The food will come in two plastic containers (nearly full). One of these can be frozen for subsequent generations. Transfer the contents of one container to a covered microwaveable container and heat on medium in the microwave (swirling every 10-30 seconds to mix and avoid overheating) until it is a solution. Pour media into the bottoms of the larvae containers to a depth of about a quarter inch (this will make 4-5 new containers). If there is a lot of condensation on the sides after the media has hardened, you can wipe this away with a paper towel–I did this, but then again alcohol-wiped the inside solid surfaces and lid above the media. Cover the containers loosely (leave the lid slightly ajar) and put them somewhere to dry. I laid a clean paper towel over the collection of covered jars to keep dust/dirt from drifting in given the activity level of the children here. After a couple days of drying, these were ready for larvae. If necessary (ie., if not using the previously shipped containers) make very, very small air holes in the lid. Then use a toothpick or matchstick to collect each 2-4 mm long larva off of the mallow plant leaves and tap to drop them into the new container. Put a clean paper towel over the top of the container (under the lid) and re-cap the jar–now the paper will serve as a scaffold for new chrysalises to hang from and will allow air in while preventing the tiny caterpillars from escaping. Try to be relatively aseptic about this.It appears that we’re going to get about 20-30 new caterpillars from the first generation, which I should be able to accommodate with the larvae cups made above…hopefully by the time we’ve run out of this food and been through a couple more generations it will be summer and warm enough to release all of the butterflies we have outside. The pavilion is well made and sturdy enough that it should accommodate many other projects involving insects. All in all, we’ve been entirely pleased with this–a great gift that’s had my son on the phone describing his butterflies’ recent development to grandma and grandpa several times!One more tip: the adult butterflies seem to become upended on the floor of the pavillion at times while they are flapping around and have trouble gaining traction to right themselves on the slick nylon surface. This shortened the lives of several of ours until I saw it happening and put some packing…

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a fantastic experience! Raising butterflies with the Butterfly Pavilion was an experience that my kids and I will never forget. I’m a single parent trying to raise two young kids on my own. I’m busy and don’t have much time to take them outside to experience nature. I wanted to give them something that would nurture their respect of nature. Boy did I pick the right item. We mailed our free certificate and about 10 days later, we received our caterpillars. Within about 7 days, they changed into chrysalides. We waited about a week, then suddenly, the butterflies started hatching. In fact, we got to see 4 of them come out within about 30 minutes of each other. It was the most fantastic experience. We kept the butterflies inside the netted habitat for about 5 days, then released them outside. My little 4-year-old girl cried as she had to free her “butterfries”, but understood why it was important to do so. We’ll never forget this experience and highly recommend the Butterfly Pavilion to everyone.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Amazing Miracle of Nature I bought the Butterfly Pavilion for my grandchildren so we could watch butterfly metamorphosis together. It was very easy. We mailed the free certificate and about a week later we got our caterpillars with their special food. We watched our critters every day grow and eat. After they formed their chrysalids (or cocoons) we put them into the Butterfly Pavilion and waited for them to hatch. About 8 days later, they started coming out one-by-one. My youngest grandson (5 yrs.) was the first to witness the birth. “Nana, Nana, come see our ‘butterfrys’”. It was the most amazing experience. We let them go later and all had a good cry. I’d recommend this fine product to anyone!

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