The San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park received its first shipment of 500 butterfly pupae from Costa Rica Thursday, in preparation for next month’s opening of its annual Butterfly Jungle.
The pupae of various butterfly species will be watched over by animal care staff until they are ready to come out, according to the park.
“When a butterfly is ready to emerge it will become a darker color and also they’ll be moving a lot more,” butterfly keeper Sara Schmitt said.
“You can actually see them moving inside, so you know that they’re about to come out.”
The Safari Park said when the butterflies take wing, they’ll be let out into the Hidden Jungle Aviary, where the Butterfly Jungle event will be held between March 16 and April 7.
The aviary — filled with tropical plants and trees — will contain thousands of butterflies from 30 species native to Africa, Asia and Central and South America, according to the Safari Park.
Among them will be the zebra longwing, orange-barred tiger, Grecian shoemaker, monarch, giant swallowtail and blue morpho.