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Cheer up with delightful butterflies at Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head

Posted By ShoutCarolina,Date: 08.12.2009

At the Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head you can see delicate butterflies undergo an incredible metamorphosis from caterpillar to chrysalis to adulthood. About six native species are currently displayed, all grown within the habitat: Monarch, Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Longwing, Black Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Cloudless Sulphur.

Monarch butterfly feeding



The Karen Wertheimer Butterfly Habitat is open Monday to Saturday from 9AM to 4:30PM and Sunday from 11AM to 3PM. Admission is Free although donations are always welcome.

Butterfly Exhibit Highlights

• Enjoy exciting butterfly trivia. Did you know that Zebra Longwing males mate with females while still in chrysalis and then deposit chemicals on their abdomen to repel other males?

• Learn about the butterflies amazing survival tactics:
- Stay Out! Some butterflies feature bright colors wings to advertise their toxicity to predators. Others will just mimic those known to be toxic. For example the Viceroy mimics the Monarch.
- The Buckeye displays owl-like eyes patterns to scare off smaller birds.
- Many species will blend in the environment, for example the Cloudless Sulphur resembles a leaf.

Observe the butterfly life cycle live at Coastal Museum in Hilton Head


• See up close the masterpiece anatomy of the butterfly. For example with their Compound Eyes made of thousands of hexagonal lenses butterflies can see in up, down, left, right, front and back all at once!

The Wings are made of membranes supported by rigid veins and are covered with thousands of tiny scales overlapping in rows like shingles on rooftops. Wings are used for flight, thermoregulation, sex recognition, mimicry and camouflage.

The straw like Proboscis is used to drink the food and break up fruit. Some butterflies can drink fluids from tree sap, rotting fruit, bird droppings and even animal carcasses!

• Build your own butterfly garden. The exhibit has excellent information and signs next to host and nectar plants that each butterfly specie favors.

Gulf Fritillary sipping nectar from a thistle plant

Guided tours are available through September on Mondays at 10AM and Wednesdays at 3PM ($10 adults and $5 children 4-12). Call (843) 689-6767 for more details or to make reservations.

Make sure to visit the state of the art indoor exhibits about the tumultuous Lowcountry history, the Gullah traditions and how life was like at the Honey Horn plantation. Take the kids on the easy-going boardwalk tour over scenic Jarvis Creek learn first hand the amazing creatures living in the salt marshes.

On a guided tour at Karen Wertheimer Butterfly Habitat


Here is a list with other fun things to do with the kids while vacationing in Hilton Head.

Life is beautiful at the Coastal Discovery Museum!

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    4 Responses to “Cheer up with delightful butterflies at Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head”

    1. “B” is for butterfly! Enjoy Hilton Head’s newest free family attraction at Coastal Discovery Museum « Shout About South Carolina Travel, Family Attractions and Free Things to Do Says:

      [...] to the Butterfly exhibit at Coastal Discovery Museum You can tour the habitat for free at your own pace every day from 9AM to 4:30PM (11-3 on [...]

    2. Life is good at Sea Pines! Hilton Head free fun things to do with kids « Shout About South Carolina Travel, Family Attractions and Free Things to Do Says:

      [...] Discovery Museum at Honey Horn plantation for nature and turtle walks, exclusive history tours and beautiful butterflies! (admission is free, donations welcome) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Don’t [...]

    3. » Outdoor magic! Coastal Discovery Museum nature trail, a Hilton Head free family fun activity »South Carolina Family Attractions, Free, Affordable and Fun Things To Do Says:

      [...] free family attractions in and around the Horn… • Butterflies, Butterflies - Tour the museum newest outdoor exhibit, the Karen Wertheimer Butterfly Enclosure. It’s free ($10 guided tours are available Mondays [...]

    4. From Charleston to Savannah with love…Favorite places to visit with my kid in the Lowcountry « Shout About South Carolina Travel, Family Attractions and Free Things to Do Says:

      [...] This place has it all! A rich display of the Lowcountry heritage, an incredible saltmarsh ecosystem,Delicate beauty at Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head world-class history walks and nature tours and a brilliant Butterfly Pavilion. [...]

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