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21 June 2008

Sertoma Butterfly House - Sioux Falls, SD

A recent family reunion brought us to Sioux Falls, SD for the first time. While there, we visited the Sertoma Butterfly House. While a small facility, it was packed with butterflies from around the globe. The 'house' was like a green house, with temperatures around 80 degrees and high humidity. Favorite larval and nectar plants were grown inside, and other habitats were created. I was surprised to learn that many butterfly species feed on fruit, including rotting fruit.

It was amazing to see the variety of colors that exist in butterflies - ranging from brown to vibrant. It seemed that the house only had medium and large sized butterflies, which probably makes sense for exhibits. I've learned from observation at my home in Arizona that butterflies can be less than one inch long, as is the one shown in this photo.

With our 5 month old in tow, I didn't spend a lot of time on photography and didn't bring my SLR on the trip. The below were taken with a Canon S5 and 420EX flash unit with a STOFEN diffuser. I generally try to identify the subjects of my photos, but that is much easier when dealing with native species. I am not even trying to attempt to identify the butterflies at this point. That in itself might be a week long project.

For what it's worth, the few butterflies I've seen and photographed in the wild are shown in one of my galleries.