Is a Greenhouse Too Hot for Butterflies?

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Displays of living butterflies among plants in greenhouses and conservatory facilities allow people up-close interaction with insects. As long as the greenhouse does not get too hot or cold, or creates an environment inhospitable to life, the butterflies and their caterpillars survive.

Significance

  • A greenhouse or conservatory is a miniaturized ecosystem with a controlled environment. Temperature, humidity, soils, watering and plant species are all contrived and maintained per the facility owner's preferences. If plants survive, insects including butterflies also may survive and live in unison.

Features

  • Greenhouses maintained with temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit can support butterflies. Window or roof vents, shade cloths and evaporative coolers help lower temperatures in a greenhouse in summer to keep the indoor facility from getting too hot.

Warning

  • If the greenhouse becomes too hot, such as above 90 to 95 F, butterflies and the plants that provide nectar food or caterpillar forage can wither and die. Water puddles provide needed drinking opportunities for butterflies. Unfortunately, fan blades and strong cross-ventilation breezes can damage wings or crush the insects against a screen.

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