Volunteers are needed at Portsmouth’s recently opened tropical butterfly house at Cumberland House natural history museum in Southsea. The old enclosure was demolished earlier this year and a new one was built by Portsmouth City Council, providing a better environment for the butterflies and for visitors.
The enclosure will have a range of tropical South American butterflies, hatched on-site from ethically-sourced chrysalises. The species and numbers will vary, with about 50 hatching each week. Among the most spectacular are swallowtails, morphos, owl butterflies and longwings. The enclosure is kept at butterfly-friendly temperature and humidity levels and has a range of plants including orchids, jasmine, banana, lemon trees and lantana. The plants provide shade, as well as food for caterpillars and adult insects.
The Museum are looking for volunteers to assist staff, and will include:
- Topping up nectar feeders
- Observing the Puparium and maintaining pupae
- Letting out emerged butterflies
- Taking and keeping photographic records of butterflies
Ideally volunteers would be able to commit to approximately 1-2 hours per day, for a minimum of 1 day a week. Click here for more information on volunteering at the Butterfly House.
Cllr Linda Symes, the council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “It’s wonderful to have this new attraction open during the summer.
“Seeing the butterflies at Cumberland House is a tradition for many local families, and is also part of the experience for visitors to the city.
“The new building will be a far more suitable home for the butterflies, and a more attractive place to visit.
“Demolishing the old butterfly house has also opened up the rear of the building, showing how it was intended to look.
“We’re very grateful for all the enthusiasm and support we have had from the community for this project. Local people have really got behind it. We’re particularly grateful to Fyffes for donating the puparium, where the butterflies hatch out, and to Tesco for funding butterfly-friendly plants.”