All About Flight of the Butterflies main content.

All About Flight of the Butterflies

by AMNH on

News Posts

Witness the longest insect migration on earth—and the decades-long passion of one scientist—as the mystery of the monarchs unfolds in Flight of the Butterflies, which opens this Saturday, January 5, 2013, at the Museum's LeFrak IMAX Theater.

Please note: Flight of the Butterflies is now closed at the Museum. 


With the magnificent imagery only the wide-screen can provide, plus amazing close-ups though high-tech scans, the film tells two stories: the multi-generational journey of one monarch family from Mexico to Canada and back and the search for their winter sanctuary by Dr. Fred Urquhart and his volunteer taggers, “citizen scientists” he has enlisted for his work.

The ultimate discovery of the monarchs’ overwintering sites in sanctuaries set 10,000 feet high in the remote mountains of Mexico will take your breath away. You will also marvel at how it takes two to three generations of butterflies to migrate north from Mexico through the U.S. to Canada and then one “super generation” to complete the migration back south to Mexico. Also in this film, the evolution from egg to caterpillar to pupa to butterfly is captured for the first time through MRI and micro CT scans, bringing us closer to the action than ever before.

While at the Museum, learn more about monarchs and other species by visiting the Museum’s The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter where up to 500 butterflies and moths flutter freely in a vivarium that approximates their natural habitat.

Flight of the Butterflies will be shown daily in the LeFrak IMAX Theater, 10:30 am to 4:30 pm (hourly) through July 7.