Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium

Now Open

Additional ticket required. Free for Members.
Floor 2, Gilder Center

Child peers through a magnifying glass at butterflies sipping on orange slices at a feeding station mounted amongst the lush greenery of the Vivarium.
Alvaro Keding/© AMNH
Meet the butterflies—hundreds of them!

Inspired by the Museum's beloved seasonal exhibit, this gallery offers a year-round experience featuring 80 species of butterflies among lush vegetation in tropical temperatures.

Monarch butterfly seeks nectar from a flowering plant. A monarch butterfly in the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium.
Alvaro Keding/© AMNH
Butterfly with a bright spot on each wing alights on a flowering plant. A small postman butterfly in the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium.
Alvaro Keding/© AMNH

Reserve Museum Tickets »
Select the number of tickets, and date/time for Museum entry, and you will be then able to add Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium, and/or additional Ticketed Exhibitions during checkout. Please note: The Vivarium is 80 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity.

There are roughly 160,000 species of Lepidoptera, the group made up of butterflies and moths. They live all over the world, from the tropics to the Arctic, to inside this museum!

Celebrated for their beauty and grace, they are more than just colorful animals. Some are amazingly camouflaged. Some harbor poisons. Some fly thousands of miles to lay eggs. 

Find out more and experience them up close in the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium.

What You'll See in the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium

  • Up to 80 species of butterflies, out of more than 130 species featured in this gallery, from the neon-colored common green birdwing to the starry night cracker
  • A separate display of moths, including the massive atlas moth—one of the largest insects on the planet
  • A pupae incubator, where visitors can view chrysalises and witness adult butterflies emerge
  • Micro environments made up of dozens of species of tropical plants, with exhibits that highlight the important roles butterflies and moths play in ecosystems around the world
  • A digital microscope and other interactive displays
  • An ID board, updated daily, featuring an illustrated card for each species in flight to help you identify butterflies and moths
Members See it Free!

The Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium is always free for Members!

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Two children look at a butterfly perched on an orange slice held in the hand of a Museum volunteer. Denis Finnin/© AMNH