Visitor Information

The insectaries of Gamboa are the perfect location to conduct research on Heliconius butterflies. We take pride in the accommodations offered at our facilities, and work together to provide the best environment for incoming researchers. The success of our efforts at the Heliconius insectaries depends on the coordinated contributions of many people, hard work, and a clear understanding of the resources required by the projects which we support. We therefore make a few specific requests of any researchers who will visit us and share our facility:

  • Communicate early about your project’s timing and needs. It is very helpful to provide us with a written summary of your intended research plans. Specifically indicate what your needs will be regarding the quantity and species/races of butterflies, cages or other rearing facilities, and the time frame of your work at the insectaries. Please contact W. Owen McMillan.
  • Anticipate contributing to the greater effort. It takes many hands to maintain the stocks and resources supported by the insectaries. We request that visiting researchers arrive with a mind-set and intention to contribute towards the general maintenance and operation of the insectaries.
  • Plan ahead. If you require to collect specimens for your research, keep in mind that it takes up to 3-4 months to process a collections permit! Please follow the steps outlined on the STRI’s scientific permits page to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you are interested in being added to W. Owen McMillan’s collecting permit, please contact Marta Vargas with a cc to Owen. For information on required forms and documents, please refer to STRI’s Mi Ambiente Request Permit page.
  • Register your visit at STRI. The registration process (see Visitor Registration) is not difficult, but again takes time, so plan ahead. There is good general information about life in Panama and research possibilities at STRI at our new and improved website.

Photo: Behavioral experiment photo taken by Irene Mendez Cruz.