Eastern tiger swallowtail. Photo by TexasEagle via Flickr Creative Commons.

Roper Mountain Science Center is once again home to hundreds of native butterflies.

The center has launched its second annual Butterfly Adventure, an exhibit that allows guests to interact with hundreds of butterflies as they flutter and soar throughout the Fred W. Symmes Tropical Rainforest. 

Currently there are no other indoor butterfly habitats in South Carolina, making the exhibit a unique event for those living in and around the Upstate, according to Michael Weeks, director of Roper Mountain Science Center. 

The exhibit attracted more than 10,000 residents last year.

Roper Mountain Science Center’s Butterfly Adventure features dozens of species of butterflies that are native to the Southeast. That includes South Carolina’s state butterfly, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. The butterflies are raised by hatcheries and transported to the center after they emerge from their chrysalis.

The exhibit also includes several educational displays that showcase the lifespan of a butterfly, butterfly models, and more, according to Weeks. “Our staff will be on site to direct exhibits, answer questions, and ensure each guest enjoys the butterfly immersion experience to the fullest,” said Weeks.

Admission to the exhibit also includes access to the outdoor Butterfly Garden, where a variety of flora have been planted to attract and sustain butterflies and bees.

Guests can also check out other exhibits, including the Darrell W. Harrison Hall of Natural Science, which offers interactive exhibits showcasing everything from robots to reptiles.

They can also visit the Design Lab, Living History Farm, Marine Lab, and Ecology Lab, which includes a honeybee hive and numerous habitats showcasing South Carolina’s geography and wildlife.

Roper Mountain Science Center’s nature trails, arboretum, tree houses, natural playgrounds, and picnic areas are also open. Guests can pack a lunch and snacks, and food and drink vendors will be on-site each Saturday.

The Butterfly Adventure exhibit, which is open through July 7, is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. But it’s closed on Mondays, Sundays and the Fourth of July.

Admission to the exhibit is $8 for adults, $7 for children 4 to 12, and free for children 3 and under. For RMSC members, admission is free. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of membership options for both free and discounted admission to additional events held throughout the year.

To purchase annual memberships, Butterfly Adventure tickets or for further information, visit ropermountain.org.

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