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More than 30 native North American butterfly species and an array of plants take up residence every summer for our much-anticipated living habitat, the Butterfly Pavilion. Wander through a unique changing ecosystem, witness free-flying creatures interacting with plant life, and emerge with a better understanding of the environment needed for the survival of these spectacular animals.
Tickets for Butterfly Pavilion 2014 will be available starting March 15.
The Butterfly Pavilion showcases hundreds of butterflies and the plants that surround them, an interaction that has been refined over the course of millions of years. See up close how butterflies use their tubular mouthparts to obtain nectar and witness caterpillars feed on leaves and go through the process of their transformation into adults. Various butterflies are present at different points during the season and the plants will grow and change. This means that each visit to the Butterfly Pavilion throughout the summer can be a different experience!
Some butterflies in the exhibit mate and lay eggs, however we regularly fill the pavilion with butterflies from all across the United States. Of the 30 species of butterflies, 20 we exhibit are California natives such as the Monarch, Mourning Cloak, and Buckeye. The remaining 10 species are slightly more showy subtropical varieties from south Florida and Texas, such as the Malachite and the Grey Cracker.
Natural history museums work to understand the natural world by obtaining and studying specimens that they collect. We ask questions and learn: Why does it look like that, how does it fit into the natural world, why is it a successful species? We share the knowledge we gain through research, by creating new live environments such as the pavilion to describe what we are studying behind the scenes in the Museum’s lab or out in the field.