Garden Phlox and Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly by Christi Leeson

Ashland Butterfly House

Delaware is host to 120 species of butterflies, many of which can be found on the grounds of Ashland Nature Center. Learn the names of our local butterflies, the “host” plants they live on and eat, how they spend the winter, and other interesting facts!

Visit Ashland Nature Center’s Butterfly House

Visit the outdoor Butterfly House at Ashland Nature Center from July through September to see and learn about our native butterflies in every stage of their life cycle. See how we’ve updated the Butterfly House.

Butterflies Commonly Found at Ashland

Our Butterfly House features a variety of butterflies, some pictured below, native to northern Delaware.

To identify more butterflies, visit Butterflies and Moths of North America or North American Butterfly Association.


Garden for Butterflies (Beginners Welcome!)

Whether you have a postage-stamp patio or a plot of land, you can attract butterflies to your yard.

Get ideas for attracting butterflies in our Butterfly House’s garden and the Hummingbird Haven pollinator garden just up the hill. Follow these basic principles:

Take your Butterfly Gardening to the Next Level

More Gardening Tips


Other Ways to Help Butterflies

Find what others are seeing at Ashland and record your observations!


Fun Facts About Butterflies

  • Butterflies are found everywhere in the world except Antarctica.
  • Butterflies have taste buds on their feet. This helps the females determine where to lay eggs – they can “taste” a leaf to see if their caterpillars will be able to eat it.
  • When a caterpillar hatches, it eats its protein-rich shell as its first meal. It will continue to consume its shed skin to conserve nutrients.
  • Caterpillar poop is called frass. Butterflies, however, don’t poop at all.
  • Migrating monarchs can live six to nine months.
  • There is only one carnivorous butterfly in North America! The elusive Harvester (pictured – photo by John Flannery) feeds on wooly aphids. If you’re lucky, you might spot one at Ashland!