Moths and Butterflies

Draw a butterfly. Build a butterfly. Learn about butterfly evolution, migration, and conservation. Walk among hundreds of spectacular, live tropical specimens in the Museum’s Butterfly Conservatory—in the middle of winter! Along with moths, their less flashy cousins, these beautiful insects are admired, collected, and worshipped by cultures all over the world. Exquisitely sensitive to their environment, butterflies are also favored by scientists who study the effects of climate change.

How Do Moths and Butterflies Survive a New York City Winter?

How Do Moths and Butterflies Survive a New York City Winter?

How the four-stage life cycle of moths and butterflies helps them survive cold winter months. 

The Prevalence of Ophryocystis elektroscirrha Infections in the Monarch Butterfly

The Prevalence of Ophryocystis elektroscirrha Infections in the Monarch Butterfly

A 12th grader investigated how a parasite affected both local and migratory populations of monarchs.

Night visitors: A Study of the Hourly Distribution of Moth Activity at a Light Station

Night visitors: A Study of the Hourly Distribution of Moth Activity at a Light Station

This essay written by an 8th grader investigates night time moth behavior.  

Fire Ants Raise Brazilian Butterflies

Fire Ants Raise Brazilian Butterflies

Fire ants play a care-giving role for butterfly larvae.

Building a butterfly for Coyote Diorama

Building a butterfly for Coyote Diorama

Find out how a real butterfly specimen was replaced in a diorama.

Moths at Large at the Museum

Moths at Large at the Museum

In the 2012-2013 exhibition Winged Tapestries: Moths at Large, photographs of moths were enlarged to sumptuous dimensions.

Butterfly Buffet: The Feeding Preferences of Painted Ladies

Butterfly Buffet: The Feeding Preferences of Painted Ladies

A 7th grader designed an experiment to track the flower preferences of one species of butterfly.

The Butterfly Conservatory

The Butterfly Conservatory

Dense humidity, lush green plants, and tropical butterflies of every color filling the room—who'd guess this is New York City in the middle of winter?