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The Magic of Life Butterfly House facts for kids

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The Magic of Life Butterfly House is an all-weather butterfly zoo visitor attraction near Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. Visitors can walk among free-flying butterflies in a luxuriant tropical environment. The centre is located in the scenic Rheidol Valley in Mid Wales.


Papilio palinurus.magicoflife butterfly house
The green-banded swallowtail (Papilio palinurus)

The centre exhibits over 30 species of tropical butterflies at any one time and up to 80 species over the summer season. The main genera which can be seen are swallowtails (Papilio), blue morpho (Morpho peleides), owls (Caligo), longwings (Heliconius) and various species of monarch butterflies (Danainae). The butterflies are imported as pupae from marms in countries such as the Philippines, Costa Rica and Tanzania. The imported butterflies are supplemented by an in situ breeding program that helps sustain numbers in the latter part of the season.


Insects are the most biodiverse group of animals. The reception room houses a number of representatives of this group including praying mantids, beetles, stick insects, and giant caterpillars.


Passiflora alata flower (1)
The fragrant granadilla (Passiflora alata)

The Butterfly House houses a collection of 150 species of exotic plants some of which are endangered in the wild. There are a number of species of passion flowers (Passifloraceae), birthworts (Aristolochiaceae), bananas (Musaceae) and aroids (Araceae). Outside the Butterfly House the wildlife garden has a good collection of insect-attracting flowers such as Buddleja, Verbena and members of the family Asteraceae.

The Magic of Life Trust

It is run by the Magic of Life Trust, a not-for-profit educational organisation set up to increase appreciation and understanding of the natural world. Informative tours are given throughout the day and form the backbone of the centre's educational work. The trust emphasizes the human side of protecting and conserving nature. The trust was founded by rain forest ecologist, Dr Neil Gale.

The Butterfly House was opened in July 2002 by rain forest conservationist, the Earl of Cranbrook.

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