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Butterfly Conservatory to Reopen

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We love the gorgeous butterfly exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History so it is with much excitement that we can announce that it will be reopening in a few weeks. Featuring Butterflies from All Over the World, the "Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter" exhibit will include a 1,200-square-foot vivarium, a winding pathway surrounded by the varied leaves of tropical plants and trees and a riot of vibrant blossoms, including Pentas and Ixora. There will also be powerful lamps that simulate sunlight and transparent walls as monarchs, zebra longwings, paper kites, and other butterfly species flutter among people and plants.

The conservatory’s butterflies come from farms in Florida, Costa Rica, Kenya, Thailand, Malaysia, Ecuador, and Australia. Among the included species are iridescent blue morpho butterflies, striking scarlet swallowtails, large owl butterflies, and beautiful green birdwings. Because the average life span of a butterfly is only two to three weeks, roughly 500 butterfly pupae will be shipped to the Museum weekly for the duration of the exhibit, and the butterflies will be released into the vivarium after emerging. Other pupae hang in a case in the vivarium, giving visitors a firsthand look as adult butterflies emerge from the chrysalis and fly away only hours after adjusting to their new surroundings. Video screens outside the vivarium will also display a short film about this process.

The Butterfly Conservatory is curated by Ward Wheeler, curator and chair of the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology. The design director is David Harvey, senior vice president for exhibition.

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The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter
October 8, 2011–May 28, 2012
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
The Museum is open daily, 10 am–5:45 pm
Admission: Suggested general admission, which supports the Museum’s scientific and educational endeavors and offers access to the Museum’s 45 halls including the Rose Center for Earth and Space, is $19 (adults) suggested, $14.50 (students/seniors) suggested, $10.50 (children) suggested. All prices are subject to change.
For additional information, the public may call 212-769-5100 or visit the Museum’s website at

Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook at, or visit on Twitter.

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