The Butterfly Conservatory
Opens Saturday, September 5
A perennial seasonal favorite, the Butterfly Conservatory returns this weekend. More than 500 live, free-flying butterflies will be housed in a lush vivarium containing tropical flowers and vegetation, nectar-feeding stations, and a chrysalis display case where visitors can observe the final stage of these insects’ amazing metamorphosis.This is one of the museum’s most popular annual seasonal exhibitions. Butterflies and moths make up a large group of insects known as the Order Lepidoptera (lep-i-DOP-ter-ah). The name—from the Greek lepido, “scale,” and ptera, “wings”—refers to a prominent feature of adult butterflies and moths, the tiny scales that cover the wings and the rest of the body.
Adult butterflies are wonderfully diverse in shape, size, and color. Active during the day, they live almost everywhere around the world, from Arctic tundra to tropical rain forests.
There are more than 250,000 known species of Lepidoptera, of which about 18,000 are butterflies. Based on their anatomy, butterflies are classified into five families. This exhibition features butterflies from three of the families: .