Beauty of butterflies on display at Tippecanoe County Butterfly Encounter

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Nature enthusiasts can learn about butterflies and how to photograph them at the annual Tippecanoe County Butterfly Encounter on July 16 at Prophetstown State Park.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus) is one of more than two dozen types of butterflies commonly found in Tippecanoe County.

Purdue’s Department of Entomology and Evonik Degussa Corp. Tippecanoe Laboratories are sponsors of the Butterfly Encounter, which begins at 10 a.m. Participants should meet at the Coneflower Recreation Building at the state park, 5545 Swisher Road, West Lafayette.

“The Encounter is a family-friendly event celebrating the beauty and diversity of Indiana butterflies,” said Melissa Shepson, outreach coordinator for Purdue entomology. “No previous butterfly knowledge is necessary.”

In the morning there will be a photography workshop led by Gene White, a photography consultant specializing in insect images. Afterward, there will be an hour of practice for photographers of skill levels of novice and intermediate.

Reni Winter of Winterhaven Wildflowers, an expert on monarch butterflies, will lead a class titled “How to Plant a Butterfly Garden.” She will discuss how to create butterfly habitat using native plants.

A picnic lunch sponsored by Evonik will be served at noon, followed by a butterfly identification tutorial during which Purdue Extension entomologists will talk about butterfly biology and the importance of habitat biodiversity. Participants will break into groups in the afternoon for butterfly appreciation walks on the grounds of the state park.

In previous years, the event had been held at Evonik’s Tippecanoe Labs Wildlife Habitat. But because of construction there, it was moved to Prophetstown, Shepson said.

There is a $6 gate fee into Prophetstown, which includes the state park and Historic Prophetstown. Participants should RSVP for the picnic to Helena Haugen at 765-477-4228 or by email at

In the event of bad weather, the Encounter will be canceled.

For more information, contact Shepson at 765-494-0997, or visit the Butterfly Encounter home page at

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 October 2020