General information

Our lab is located in a town right next to the Panama Canal called Gamboa, located about 30 km from Panama City. We have the Panama Canal on one side, the Chagres River on another, and the rest is tropical rainforest of the Soberania National Park.

Our facilities include outdoor areas with greenhouses and butterfly houses where we grow host plants, rear and maintain butterfly stocks, and carry out behavioral experiments. We also have an indoor lab space, where we have the necessary equipment to run genetic and molecular experiments.

We have around 200 tropical plants and house 50 Panamanian species of butterflies, including postman, flame and morpho butterflies.


Our outdoor lab facilities are divided into two areas, the insectaries and the maripozone. We have around 40 butterfly houses and 15 greenhouses at the insectaries, and 36 butterfly houses and 12 greenhouses at maripozone.

Houses can be adapted to different project needs, such as keeping a certain amount of houses for butterfly stocks and another amount for running experiments. We can also merge several small houses to create a bigger one, as well as divide big houses into smaller ones. We usually support 3 to 6 research projects at once, however, we are always flexible to expand in order to support new projects.

Butterfly list

Below you can find a list of butterflies that we commonly rear for research projects. However, we are also able to rear other species if necessary. Take a look at our species list for some picture references.

You can learn more about the butterflies we rear and their respective host plants with this guide made by our research manager, RĂ©mi Mauxion. If you are doing a research visit to our lab, or you rear butterflies, you might be interested in reading our guide on butterfly pathogens made by our research intern, Made Roger.

Heliconius species & subspecies
Heliconius atthis
Heliconius charitonia
Heliconius cydno chionues
Heliconius doris
Heliconius erato demophoon
Heliconius erato etylus
Heliconius erato hydara
Heliconius erato lativitta
Heliconius erato notabilis
Heliconius hecale melicerta
Heliconius hecale zuleika
Heliconius hecalesia formosus
Heliconius hewitsoni
Heliconius himera
Heliconius ismenius bouletti
Heliconius ismenius fasciatus
Heliconius melpomene ecuadoriensis
Heliconius melpomene maletti
Heliconius melpomene melpomene
Heliconius melpomene plesseni
Heliconius melpomene rosina
Heliconius numata
Heliconius pachinus
Heliconius sapho candidus
Heliconius sapho sapho
Heliconius sara magdalena
Heliconius sara sprucei
Heliconius wallacei flavescens
Other Leptidoptera
Agraulis vanillae
Dione juno
Dryadula phaetusa
Euides aliphera
Euides isabellae
Tithorea harmonia
Tithorea tarricina