Like an emergent butterfly, the newly-transformed Butterfly Park and Insect
Kingdom promises to be an experience you won’t forget. Be dazzled by the
riot of colours as thousands of tiny wings flutter around you as you stroll
through the natural environment of butterflies, amidst waterfalls and
flowers in bloom, where these fragile specimens thrive in.
The Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, built at a cost of $800,000, is
specially designed for the exhibition, habitation and breeding of
butterflies. A creation of Gordon T Ledbetter, an experienced designer in
water garden landscaping, the 1.05 hectare Butterfly Park is also the first
of its kind have a exhibition of more than 4,000 mounted butterflies and
insects as well as a outdoor conservatory with more than 1,500 live
butterflies fluttering it. The insects here comprise some of the world’s
most beautiful and rarest insects.
The live insect display has a selection of live specimens which are
separately kept in glass cases. These include jungle grasshoppers,
long-horned and single-horned beetles, leaf mantis and other fascinating
insects. It is definitely not a place to be missed by insect and nature
lovers. You will definitely be mesmerized by colourful array of butterflies
on display. Now, let’s take a closer look at Butterfly Park and Insect
Open: 9am to 6.30pm daily
Last Admission: 6pm
Admission Fees: S$10 for adults, s$6 for children
Approximate Touring Time: 45 minutes
Location: 51 & 51A Cable Car Road, Sentosa, 099702/3
Getting There: Take Sentosa Bus from the World Trade Centre Bus Terminal or
Tiong Bahru MRT. On Sentosa, take the monorail to Station M4 or by bus on
the Blue or Green Lines.
Entrance and Exhibition Hall
You will start your
tour of the Park at the Entrance to the Exhibition Hall. By the counter,
there will be a ticket collector and there is a huge frame of colourful
butterflies on the wall behind the counter. The butterflies are arranged in
circles but they are a mere preview of what Insect Kingdom and Butterfly
has to offer. Within the halls, there are more butterflies and many other
amazing insects. Once you paid for your tickets, you will enter the
The first Exhibition Hall has a curved wall that depicts how life form
evolved, since the start of the Earth. The first few pictures showed
single-celled creatures and more complex creatures such as mammals are found
towards the other end of the wall. In that large hall, there are also the
fossilized remains of prehistoric sea shells and shelled creatures. This
exhibit was replicated from the former fossil and the feeling of the smooth
rock surface lets you admire the life forms that existed billions of years
Further into the
hall, you will the fossilized remains of other creatures such as frogs and
fishes. These fossils are kept in glass cases and labels by the sides of the
exhibits allow you to know which body parts each of the fossil segments are.
Hung on the wall is a chart depicting the Insect Family System Tree. Each
branch of the tree is further divided
into smaller classes and the species at each of the different classes are
listed meticulously. The display illustrates the insect order which is
classified into 32 groups. Insects with primitive features are depicted on
the left while more evolved insects are placed on the right. From this
chart, we got to know that beetles are the most abundant insect in the world
in terms of the number of species. Do look out for this informative chart
when you are there!
Inside the Museum
Our planet Earth is home to more than 2,800,000 species of insects, each
having its own unique and complex shapes, characteristics and lifestyles.
Their immense population has made them the largest group of living creatures
known. In the Insect Kingdom Museum, you will have close encounters with up
to 3,000 different species of insects, of which comprises some of the
world’s rarest and most magnificent beetles. Insect Kingdom also includes a
dazzling enclosure of over 5,000 fireflies. Be sure to stop and admire the
largest Dynasties Hercules beetle ever recorded – all 160mm of it!
The first exhibit that you will see is a huge glass case that houses many
butterflies. These butterflies are from all over the world and only the most
beautiful and rarest ones from each country are placed in this case. One can
easily identify the origin of each butterfly by looking at this exhibit.
Some of these butterflies are migratory and their migratory are also
depicted in this exhibit. By the wall, you will see a pie chart breaking
down the Butterfly Family and listing out all the different classes. Some
major examples are selected for each of these classes for you to understand
the differences between each class better. There are more exhibits kept in
glass cases when you walk towards the Butterfly Park.
Soon, you get to see live specimens in a special room. The selections of
live specimens are enclosed separately in specially designed glass
enclosures. These specimens include the Jungle Grasshopper, Ghost Spiders
and millipedes. The enclosures of these specimens are made to resemble the
natural habitats of the insects and they are covered with dead leaves.
Sometimes, a rotten log is placed in the enclosure to provide a place for
the insects to hide.
The park will also be the first in the world to showcase a 70m long cave
housing live insect specimens in their natural habitat. Visitors can get up
close and personal with the Rhino Beetles, Giant Spiders and scorpions. As
you venture further into the dark, discover Fireflies which serve as guiding
For the more adventurous, you can participate in the twice daily Stage Shows
where you can learn how to handle giant scorpions, beetles and other
insects. Try picking up a stick insect at the Stick Insect Safari, which is
only if you can spot these cleverly-camouflaged creatures!
Finally, the museum leads to a small room which houses caterpillars. The
caterpillars are tended to by specialised personnel. Upon request, you can
ask to hold the caterpillars with your hands. Grp88 had the experience of
holding those caterpillars when we visited Butterfly Park. They have spikes
in their soft bodies but be assured that they are neither poisonous nor
harmful in any sense. In fact, holding these little critters is rather a
and new experience. The room is actually a nursery for caterpillars. When
they grow older, they are released into the park. Also, caterpillars here
can be purchased only by schools for experiments and not by private buyers.
Stroll through the lush surrounds of the Butterfly Park and allow 2,500 live
butterflies – from over 50 species – to flutter about you as you enjoy the
cool outdoor conservatory. The largest is the “Papilio Iswara” (Great Helen)
measuring about 15cm and the smallest is the “Eurema Sari” (2.5cm). Perhaps
the most colourful butterfly to look at is the “Papilio Polytes” (Common
Mormon). You will also come across containers filled with sugar and honey
solution, strategically located around the park. This is necessary to
provide food for the butterflies, in view of the dense concentration in the
park. Clusters of picked flowers in the park can also serve the same
purpose. The butterflies feeding on the nectar of these flowers also help to
pollinate the flower at the same time, ensuring that the plants in the park
will continue to thrive and provide food for the butterflies. Caterpillars
hatched from eggs laid by these butterflies can be observed feeding on the
leaves of plants.
Watch the blossoming of new life at the Live Pupae house, where young
butterflies will spread their wings for the very first time. You can also
see pupae, which is the final stage of the caterpillar’s metamorphosis into
butterflies. Wet sponges are placed on the shelves to prevent the pupae from
drying out. View of the pupae and the metamorphosis is through the glass
panes around the Live Pupae house. The chrysalises are hung at certain
angles and away from direct sunlight. A few hundred pupae are placed here
and each day, an average of 10% will develop into butterflies and join the
colony in the park.
The Sentosa Butterfly
Park is a great place to photograph butterflies. Grp88 took a few great
shots at the park. The park provides an environment where the photographer
can concentrate on photographing and not having to worry about looking for
the subject; and provides opportunities to photograph species that are
otherwise rare or difficult to photograph in
However, to take great photos, one must have the proper equipments,
familiarise oneself with the environment and get know the butterflies at the
The park has narrow and winding footpaths which are designed to allow
visitors to get close to butterflies. Thus one should use a camera with
digital zoom capability and macro mode. Whilst tripods are usually
recommended for macro photography, space constraints at the park make a
tripod difficult and inconvenient to use. Flash is recommended when
photographing butterflies under the shade or when shooting against
backlight. However, we found out that the lighting at during noon is the
best and using flash at that time of the day would result in your photos
being too bright.
The Butterfly Park, being a man-made enclosed environment, is surrounded by
objects such as ropes, metal bars, nettings and cages. Including these
man-made objects will definitely ruin your photos. One must thus take care
not to include such objects when photographing at the Butterfly Park.
If such objects are visible in the background, you can try to move around
and find a different angle. As an alternative, you can employ large
apertures, flash or zoom-in to 'eliminate' such objects from the photo. If
none of these work, just move on and look for another subject. Unlike in the
wild, there are many butterflies in the park and ample opportunities to
Note that mist sprays located all over the enclosure will frequently spray
tiny droplets of mist (just when you are composing your masterpiece) to keep
the place moist and the butterflies happy. So be prepared if you do not want
your equipment to get wet!
There are more than 50 species of butterflies at Sentosa Butterfly Park.
Most of them are foreign species but many are closely related to the species
in Singapore. Some species will settle with their wings wide open while
others prefer to show only their undersides. A few are just plain shy and
prefer to play hide and seek with you. Knowing which species to go after is
crucial to avoid frustration and getting all soaked up (in the humid
Another opportunity not to be missed at the park is photographing a mating
pair of butterflies. In the wild, mating pairs are a rare sight but at the
small enclosure of a butterfly park, it is quite easy to spot them and
In addition to butterflies, Sentosa Butterfly Park offers other interesting
macro subjects like caterpillars, Man Face Bugs, Grasshoppers, etc., for the
macro photographer to flex his skills.
Keep in mind that butterfly park is a place for visitors to enjoy and view
butterflies and not a photo studio. So, give consideration to visitors and
tourists and try not to block the narrow pathway. If there is a crowd, you
should move to the side and wait for the crowd to pass or just move on to
Grp88 wishes you a happy butterfly shooting!