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Inside the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum

Inside the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum

Posted: 7/12/2012 - By Tammy Coffin-Hana | Thursday, July 12, 2012

Are you a social butterfly? If not, don't worry, all butterflies at the butterfly house at Cox Arboretum are awaiting your arrival! I stopped over at the Cox Arboretum yesterday to see what was fluttering, and with camera in hand and a listening ear, I captured some amazing interaction with humankind and listened to the well-educated volunteers talk with those who came to visit, teaching the adults and the children more about these amazing creatures and their counterparts. Start Slideshow!

Enter the House of Flutter

As you enter Cox Arboretum, you will see a gorgeous array of landscaping, but what everyone is coming to see right now is the Butterfly House. July 7th through August 26th, you can catch a glimpse of these fluttering creatures and their counterparts the moth.

Monarch Butterly at Cox Arboretum
Monarch Butterly at Cox Arboretum
If you haven't been before you should go, because everything you think to be true of butterflies probably isn't true.

In fact, upon entering the first thing I had the pleasure of watching was a beautiful orange and black monarch lighting on a little girl's toe. The monarch just sat still as though the whole world had come to a stop, even with people trying to get past her to view more of nature's display. What you may not know is that you will be able to view these butterflies in all stages of their metamorphosis, and with several species that you may not know are common in the state of Ohio.

The following species of butterflies can be spotted inside this amazing Butterfly House including:

Black Swallowtail at Cox Arboretum
Black Swallowtail at Cox Arboretum
  • Painted Lady
  • Red Admiral
  • Monarch (of course)
  • Giant Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Tiger Swallowtail
  • Luna Moth
  • Cecropia Moth
  • Polyphemus Moth
  • And last but not least the Pipevine Swallowtail

Naturally, the goal of the Butterfly House is to share with you those species that are native to our area, but to allow you to view them in the most natural setting where they thrive as well. While you take in the beauty of the flowers that are there to help them feel comfortable and captivate you with an array of colors, you will also learn more about the lifecycle of both the butterflies and the moths.

Interesting Facts About the Cecropia Moth

One of the moths that you might actually be smitten by is the Cecropia Moth. This moth is most commonly found in the state of Ohio, and is quite a looker. This moth looks more like a butterfly, but don’t be fooled. This moth is somewhat spotted on the wings, and many of them have some red outlining on their wings while others are the color of sand.

Cecropia Caterpillar at Cox Arboretum
Cecropia Caterpillar at Cox Arboretum

These moths store up all of the energy they will need while in their cocoon, because they don’t have a very lengthy lifespan. In fact, the males will only live for about 2 days, while the females only live for a maximum of 5 days. This is because these moths are born without mouth parts. Can you imagine? The male's only purpose is to fertilize, while the female's only purpose is to lay eggs. Simply amazing!

Now that you know all of this, doesn't it make you the least bit curious? I know I was quite surprised, and the volunteers were so knowledgeable. This is a great place to visit for the entire family, and you are welcome to take your lunch and sit along the pond area while the turtles pop their heads up to say hello.

Interesting Facts About Butterflies

Now that you know where you can find the butterflies and what species you can find, it's time to share with you some interesting facts that I learned about them while there that totally caught me by surprise. Believe it or not, butterflies actually love humans even if you believe that they tend to keep their distance. While they are careful and don’t commonly light on your arm or fingers, they do drink human sweat. Gross right? Not necessarily.

I learned that it's more common for the males to do this but females will do this as well. The reason? They are seeking the vitamins and minerals that are secreted in human sweat. Although you may have seen images of butterflies on the fingers of lucky individuals, they are more likely to land on your toes when you are wearing sandals.

Don't freak out folks, to them your sweat is sweet! Remember, they can’t hurt you and they don't bite you, and while they drink your sweat you won't even know they are taking a sip!

When is the Butterfly House Open?

The Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. You may also stop by on Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. If you have any questions or concerns or you would like to book a group tour, feel free to contact Cox Arboretum at 937-434-9005, or you may visit their website at

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  • About Tammy Coffin-Hana

    Copy Cats Inc.

    Tammy is a freelance copywriter and slowly becoming an expert on the HCG Diet and other health alternatives.

  • Related Profile:

    Cox Arborteum

    This beautiful 189-acre facility is a special place for visitors to escape among trees, shrubs, specialty gardens, mature forests, and prairies.