Atala Butterfly
The Little Farm

Magical Garden

Many children have never felt a caterpillar, or seen a chrysalis. Here at The Little Farm Butterfly garden, you can witness the full metamorphosis of butterflies amidst our host and flowering plants. You can give your students an opportunity to learn about and enjoy a hands-on agricultural experience that they will never forget.

Throughout the year visitors can see the full life cycle of a butterfly, eggs to larvae (caterpillar) to chrysalis to butterfly. The transformation is magical and the result is inspiring.

The Little Farm Butterfly Garden is home to:

  • Atalas
  • Zebra Longwings
  • Monarchs
  • Pipevine Swallowtails
  • and more!

Our garden also boasts many plants and pollinators which help make this ecosystem successful. We grow Porter Weeds for our Monarch and Queen butterflies, Coonties for our Atalas and have many flowering varieties which attract other beneficial insects. Your children will see bees, beetles, dragonflies and countless other insects.

Farm Sheep Flowers illustrations
Explore our garden
Walk through our garden to identify colorful butterflies, varieties of host plants and squirmy caterpillars!
What You’ll Find

Learn About Our Butterfly Garden



This is the Polydamas Swallowtail butterfly sipping sweet nectar from the Plumbago bush. Did you know that a butterfly’s straw-like tongue is called a Proboscis? It’s actually not a tongue at all; it’s an extension of their mouth into a long tube-like shape

The Atala butterfly – scientific name: Eumaeus atala Poey. We are in awe seeing these tiny beauties flying all around our pollinator garde

The butterfly garden is sprouting! The Polydamas Swallowtail, also known as the pipevine swallowtail due to its host plant, is a species of butterflies that belong to the common ‘swallowtail’ group. They are commonly seen between April and November. The butterflies lay their eggs in clusters and the caterpillars also enjoy staying close together. This along with what looks like spikes on their backs help keep them protected from predators



Monarch, queen, atala, zebra longwing, and Gulf fritillary?

Atala caterpillars and chrysalis

FUN FACTS: What’s the difference between a chrysalis and a cocoon?

Let’s break it down 🐛
Caterpillar = larva/larvae/larval stage
Chrysalis and/or cocoon = pupa/pupae/pupal stage
Butterfly/Moth that most of us recognize = Adult

Butterflies form what we call a chrysalis, rather than a cocoon. A cocoon technically refers to a silk enclosure spun around the insect to contain this process. Moths (and bees!) form cocoons.

So in other words, every chrysalis is a pupa, and every cocoon *contains* a pupa. If you’re not sure which to use, pupa/pupae will always be correct!

Few more details:
When a caterpillar is ready to enter the next stage, a chrysalis, they’ll find a secure spot to attach themselves. They’ll then remain in the “J” position until they shed their final larval exoskeleton and reveal their new form underneath.

The chrysalis will harden within a few hours, giving some protection for the next couple of weeks while the final transformation occurs. Before you know it, a butterfly is ready to emerge 🦋

Butterfly Garden Plants


These are the beautiful Zebra Longwings. They are our state butterfly here in Florida and is unmistakable with its long narrow wings, which are striped black and pale yellow. Our Butterfly Garden is full of both Corkystem and Purple Passion Vine, it’s host plant, and you can see them fluttering about.

So far we have adopted 100 Atala cats and places them on our Coontie plants. Some have already even transformed into chrysalis. Soon enough our garden will be full of Atala butterflies yet again.



Butterfly season, coming right up! Here we have a Monarch chrysalis and an Atala caterpillar, both getting ready to become beautiful butterflies




The Little Farm’s Butterfly Garden is full of pollinators. Apart from these beautiful caterpillars that will turn into gorgeous butterflies, our garden is full of wildlife. Our garden is full of beneficial insects, pollinators, and plants that keep our ecology in sync. Everything in our garden is in there for a reason whether it is a nectar plant, a host plant, or ladybugs to eat aphids off of them. Often we may not notice the hummingbirds, bats, bees, beetles, butterflies, and flies that carry pollen from one plant to another as they collect nectar. Yet without them, wildlife would have fewer nutritious berries and seeds, and we would miss many fruits, vegetables, and nuts, like blueberries, squash, and almonds…not to mention chocolate and coffee…all of which depend on pollinators.

FUN FACTS: These hard-working animals help pollinate over 75% of our flowering plants, and nearly 75% of our crops.

More Attractions
  • The Little Farm Miami Native Rockland

    Native Rockland

    The Little Farm now has a native rockland featuring natural landscape limestone and rocks which serve as a happy home for our goats and sheep

  • The Little Farm Miami Snacking Garden Vegetables

    Snacking Garden

    The Little Farm now features a beautiful snacking garden with vegetables and herbs which flourish in the South Florida sun. Come and learn about how to grow veggies, keep them protected from harmful insects and promote healthy soil.

  • The Little Farm Apiary - Honey Bees


    Visit our apiary to learn all about honey bees, their behavior, their products and how we care for them. Bees help our farm in so many ways!

  • The Little Farm Miami Play Field and Picnic Area

    Play Field

    Swing on the swings, play on the see-saw, climb on the jungle gym, march on the bridge and play in the grass. Don't miss our play field!

  • The Little Farm Miami Animal Experiences and Petting Zoo

    Animal Interactions

    Here at The Little Farm we offer a hands-on farm experience where you can enjoy a morning of animal interactions. We offer a goat milking and feeding presentation, an open barn to see and touch our animals, pony rides, and more.