White-Nosed coatis live in a variety of habitats from tropical lowlands to drier mountain forests in North, Central and South America. Females travel in groups called bands, which can number anywhere from 4 to 40 individuals while males 2 years and up travel alone.

Coatis are omnivores with a diverse diet, consisting of insects, spiders, lizards and other small animals, as well as fruits, nuts, plants and carrion. They use their long snout to sniff out critters underground, and then use their sharp claws to dig them out.

Coati mating season begins early in the year. During this time, solitary males will start to join female bands. These males will fend off rivals and mate with serval females. As mating season ends, males are forced out of the band and mated females will leave about 77 days later. Moms and pups return to the band about 5-6 weeks after birth.

Unlike the other species of coati, White-Nosed Coati populations are apparently stable, through lack of field data may drastically underestimate their numbers. Deforestation, habitat loss and introduced predators, such as cats and boa constrictors, all pose threats to their continual health. The Eastern and Western Mountain Coati species are either endangered or threatened.


Get up close and personal with our coati brothers with our Coati Connection adventure!
Click HERE for more information!



We’re AMMPA Accredited!

Mammal Team with AMMPA Reps















We’re proud to announce we have received accreditation by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.
AMMPA accredited facilities are recognized as the Gold Standard throughout the world, for zoological parks and aquariums with marine mammals. This accreditation recognizes our dedication to the highest standards of animal care, state of the art veterinary practices, exceptional welfare practices, conservation and education.
Getting this endorsement was a rigorous two-year process that consisted of compiling information, submitting a thorough and complex application, followed by an intensive inspection of the our facility and staff. Candyce Paparo, Director of Animal Training said “It’s very exciting to be considered among the top marine mammal facilities in the world and to finally get this team the recognition it deserves for being some of the best professional animal specialists in the world as well!


Geoffroy’s marmosets are small primates, easily recognized for their puffed white cheeks, face, and neck. They are sometimes called the tufted-ear or white-faced marmoset.

Geoffroy’s marmosets live an arboreal, treetop lifestyle in South American rainforests!

8 inches with 11-inch tails

Diet and Lifestyle
Geoffroy’s marmosets are diurnal and arboreal which means they are awake during the day and live in the treetops. They are omnivorous with a diverse diet of fruits, insects, small animals, and sap and gum from trees. In fact, they
have a special set of teeth to hammer into and scoop out this sugar-rich gum! At the Long Island Aquarium, our mammal trainers produce our own gum from plant material and sugar and hide it in toys around the exhibit to enrich our marmosets’ exhibit.

Smart Little Monkeys
In the wild, Geoffroy’s marmosets have observed to follow trains of plundering army ants. The ants flush out many hiding insects and, as the bugs flee from the ants, the marmosets can find themselves easy meals!

What was that sound? Is that a bird?
No! Those chirping sounds that you are hearing are the high-pitched vocalizations of our marmosets that they use to communicate with one another!

Lightweight Monkeys
These primates are tiny and can weigh as much as a juice box! Males may only weigh about 1/2 lb. to 3/4 lb. in the wild and females weigh only about 1/4 lb. In facilities, they can weigh up to a pound due to a reliable, healthy diet!


A cuttlefish is a type of mollusk, a Cephalopod, which has a highly developed central nervous system. Similar to octopuses and squids they arguably among the smartest invertebrates with the largest brain-to-body size ratio of all invertebrates. Also, they have an internal shell called a cuttlebone, which is porous and allows the animal to maintain buoyancy. They have a typical life expectancy of one to two years. However, there are over 120 different species of Cuttlefish in the wild.

Cuttlefish are remarkable for their ability to color change at will, using a set of specialized, pigmented skin cells and nerve cells, which interact to expand and contract, exposing various pigments as needed. This color change is useful for camouflage, communication between each other, and as a warning to predators.

Discus Fish

The discus fish are some of the most beautiful, vibrant, and colorful freshwater fish out there. Though there are only two or three species in nature, there are around 100 different color varieties that have bred in the pet trade by breeding different color morphs and patterns and selecting for various desired traits.

Actually a type of Cichlid, the Discus Fish are so-called for their flattened body shape. They can be found throughout the Amazon River basin in heavily wooded areas of the river.

Long Island Aquarium’s Discus Exhibit showcases a diverse group of discus varieties, which demonstrates the beauty and rainbow of color that these fish sport!


Thousands of butterflies from all over the world now inhabit this overgrown, tropical garden, situated in a Victorian courtyard. Some flutter and flit from flower to flower, sipping nectar. While others enjoy feeding on fruit at several secluded feeding stations. Still, others hide in the many trees and vines, resting up for their next flight.

Because most butterflies only live for a couple of weeks, new butterflies arrive directly from Africa, Central America, South America, Asia, and North America constantly! The entomologists at the Butterflies, Bugs & Birds Exhibit receive 800-1,200 butterfly pupae each week! At any one time, there are 40-50 different species of butterflies flying in the habitat. The Exhibition Center receives 150 different species, so each time you visit, you will see new and exciting butterfly species!

You can follow trains of iridescent blue morpho butterflies as they chase one another around the exhibit! If you look closely in the darker corners of the exhibit, you might find tiny, transparent glass wing butterflies from South and Central America, which prefer the relative safety of the dark undergrowth of tropical rainforests. You can even marvel at the world’s largest moth, the atlas moth, which rests proudly in the garden’s trees and shrubs, showing off its mammoth 12-inch wingspan!

The Butterfly exhibit also features a butterfly laboratory and an emergence chamber where you can watch as hundreds of butterflies emerge from their chrysalises each day! If you are lucky, you will visit on a day when they receive butterfly pupae.

Please join us in this year-round exhibit, the only one of its kind on Long Island, and in New York!

Butterflies and Moths: Lepidoptera

Basic info: Butterflies and moths are types of insects with tiny, microscopic scales covering their wings and the surface of their body! There are over 180,000 known species of these animals and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica. In general, an adult butterfly only lives for a few weeks. Although they can live for very much longer as an egg, caterpillar (larva), or chrysalis (pupa), sometimes several years.

Butterflies versus moths: In general, there really are very few differences between butterflies and moths and the true distinctions between the two groups really involve minute differences in wing and body structure. However, butterflies do tend to have clubbed antennae, while moths have hairlike, comblike, or feathery antennae. Out of the 180,000 different species of butterflies and moths, there are only about 20,000 species of butterflies; the rest are moths!

Complete metamorphosis: All butterflies and moths start life as an egg and hatch into a caterpillar or larva, which will eventually turn into a pupa. Some butterflies and moths will spin a silk cocoon around their pupa. While others have developed many features on the surface of their pupae, which allow them to either blend in with their environment or inform predators that they are toxic; these are called chrysalises.


The Bird Habitat is closed.  Stay tuned for something new coming soon!

Jellyfish Exhibit

With more than 200 species found worldwide, jellyfish, or sea jellies, are one of the world’s most common sea creatures. They range in size from just under an inch to giants with tentacles measuring over 100 feet.

Sea jellies consist of a gelatinous bell and trailing tentacles. They lack a centralized nervous system, heart, bones, and gills. They do have a simple nervous system, sometimes referred to as a “nerve net,” and their body walls are thin enough to allow oxygen to pass directly from the water to their internal organs.

Though they may look rather harmless, jellyfish have special defensive cells, called nematocysts. Used only once and then replaced, nematocysts help them capture prey and defend themselves.

Flounder Find

See if you can spot the flounders in our Flounder Find Exhibit.

For such a common fish, the flounder (Pleuronectes americanus) can be surprisingly difficult to find. Its flat body and ability to change color make it hard to spot on the ocean floor – the better to fool unsuspecting prey and hide from predators. Come try it out at our flounder find.

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Electric Eel

It’s positively shocking: An electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) can produce an electric charge of up to about 600 volts – five times the voltage of a wall socket, and strong enough to injure a human.

Located in the tail, the eel’s electric organs serve several uses. Low-intensity impulses help eels communicate and navigate, while high-intensity charges stun or kill prey, and provide a defense.

Best Buddies – Clownfish & Anemone

The Clownfish and Anemone are truly best buddies, maintaining a relationship that benefits one another.

The Clownfish picks debris and parasites off of the Anemone and chases off predators, such as Butterflyfish, which are not immune to the stings of the Anemone. The stinging tentacles of the Anemone provide protection for the Clownfish. The Clownfish develops immunity to the Anemone’s venom after repeated exposure.

Clownfish and Anemones are best buddies; they are made for one another!