Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre (BBC) is an interactive butterfly exhibit located 25 km north of Siem Reap, on the road to the Landmine Museum and Bantey Srey temple.
The exhibit consists of a netted tropical garden with thousands of free-flying butterflies, all of which are native species to Cambodia. The enclosure is South East Asia’s largest butterfly exhibit and provides residents and tourists with an interactive and visual environment to learn about butterflies and support local communities.
What is Butterfly Farming?
Butterfly farming is the breeding of pupae for sale to local butterfly exhibits or for export to zoos and live exhibitions overseas. Butterfly farms are situated in close proximity to areas of natural forest and provide an alternative, sustainable income to rural communities.
Butterfly farms have been established in many tropical countries worldwide – including the Philippines, Costa Rica, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
The Farming Process
In butterfly farming a small netted enclosure is prepared. It is planted with the food plant for the target species of butterfly. A female butterfly is caught and placed in the breeding cage to lay her eggs on the food plant.
The freshly laid eggs are harvested by the farmer and placed in a pest free container, where they will hatch after 10 – 14 days.
Upon hatching the caterpillars, or larvae, will be transferred to their particular food plant in the farmer’s plant nursery. The growing larvae are tended by the farmers until they are ready to pupate, approximately 14 days after hatching.
At pupation, larvae attach by their abdomen to a suitable leaf or stick and shed their skin to form the pupae. At this point the pupa are harvested by the farmer to be sold.
To ensure sustainability and unnecessary collection from the wild, the farmer will retain a proportion of pupa to provide the next generation of adults for the breeding cage.
Taking a Tour to Butterfly Centre
At BBC it is possible to experience butterflies feeding and flying very close at hand and to witness the complete life cycle of many species. The butterflies (in pupae form) are farmed sustainably by people from villages in the Siem Reap Province.
Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will greet you on your arrival and will explain the background to the project and about butterfly life-cycle and ecology.
We are open 7 days a week, 9 am – 5 pm, all year round.