A variety of exhibit experiences inside the museum bring the science behind this fascinating group of insects to life, starting with “What is a Butterfly?” and ending with conservation issues worldwide.
- Rearing Lab
The rearing lab gives you a closer look at the life cycle of the butterfly, from egg to larva to pupa. Watch and interact with Butterfly Rainforest staff as the hundreds of new pupae that arrive each week are unpacked, sorted and placed in large window cases. If you play close attention, you just may see a beautiful new butterfly emerge!
- Wall of Wings
This wall, nearly three stories high, showcases thousands of butterfly and moths specimens and photographs. These specimens, arranged in the same boxes used to store the research collections, convey the breadth of this world-class collection, the excitement of scientific discovery, and the beauty and importance of biodiversity.
- World of Wings
Lepidoptera contribute in many ways to our understanding of the world, from indicating the health of our planet to charting the path for certain advances in human medicine. Follow the studies of University of Florida and other scientists through our stories about Lepidoptera research worldwide.
- Collection and Research Labs
Get a close-up look at the world’s largest research facility devoted to Lepidoptera housing more than 10 million specimens (and growing). Peer through laboratory windows to watch museum scientists at work. Individual labs feature genetics research, morphology studies, specimen preparation, scanning electron microscope work, species conservation and more.
- At more than 10 million specimens, this is one of the world’s largest Lepidoptera collections.
- There is space to expand the collection up to 20 million specimens.
- The three floors of collection rooms are filled with compactor units that hold a total of about 100,000 drawers.
- Each collection drawer may hold as few as 4 large specimens (Giant Goliath Birdwings) or as many as 2,000 microlepidoptera moths.
- The collections are the foundation for innumerable research studies that directly contribute to a greater understanding and appreciation of our natural world.
- William W. and Nadine M. McGuire
Exhibit Blog Spotlight
Mar 1, 2023
A journey of metamorphosis: Introducing butterflies into the Butterfly Rainforest
Have you ever been through the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest exhibit, mesmerized by the hundreds of beautiful…
Jun 25, 2017
Leopard Moth, Lepidoptera Collection Photo
The Giant or Great Leopard Moth, Hypercompe scribonia, has very distinct coloring, from its bright white wings with dark spots…
Jun 23, 2017
Red-spotted Purple Butterfly
Red-spotted purple, Limenitis arthemis astyanax, is a North American brush-footed butterfly with a wingspan of up to 3.5 inches. The upper…
Jun 9, 2017
Papilio dardanus, Lepidoptera Collection Photo
Papilio dardanus has the common name of the Flying Handkerchief, but more frequently is referred to as the African Swallowtail…