Those fluttering insects are much more than just pretty – they are essential pollinators. In the warmer months, we are home to many different exotic butterfly species.

Colourful insects that are hard at work

Butterflies are an essential part of ecosystems around the world and are most abundant in tropical regions, where most varieties of species have been found. These insects have a proboscis that acts as a mouthpart, allowing a butterfly to sip flower nectar and transport pollen from flower to flower to make pollination possible. Known for their bright colours, a butterfly’s flashy looks help it to attract a mate and trick predators into thinking that it is poisonous.


  • IUCN Red List Status: Most are Endangered (at very high risk of extinction in the wild)
  • Type: Invertebrate
  • Habitat: Mainly in tropical regions around the world
  • Diet: Herbivore – flower nectar
  • Size: 1/8 of an inch to 12 inches
  • Weight: Average weight is 0.5 grams
Butterflies Butterflies Butterflies
Half-Moon Hairstreak Butterfly

Care & Conservation

Half-Moon Hairstreak Butterfly

Our work in butterfly conservation doesn’t stop at the zoo. We work with Parks Canada in Waterton Lakes National Park to monitor and research the half-moon hairstreak butterfly.
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facts about our animals

Fun Facts about Butterflies

Butterflies taste with their feet.

There are about 24,000 species of butterflies around the world.

Some butterflies, like the monarch, will migrate.

Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.

A butterfly’s skeleton is on the outside of its body, known as an exoskeleton.

Butterflies glue their eggs to leaves.

Half-Moon Hairstreak Butterfly Conservation


How you can help

Your donation makes a world of difference. With support for animal care, conservation programs, and education, you’re making the world wilder.

Meet our Animals

Dorothy Harvie Gardens

Domestic Alpaca

Dorothy Harvie Gardens


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Chilean Flamingo

Dorothy Harvie Gardens

Chilean Flamingos

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Rough Scaled Plated Lizard

Plan your visit

Get close to wildlife

It’s time to make some memories. Here’s everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable day at the zoo.