Creating a True-to-Life Butterfly for the Coyote Diorama main content.

Creating a True-to-Life Butterfly for the Coyote Diorama

by AMNH on

On Exhibit posts

The dioramas in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals have always been splendid, but after more than a year of painstaking restoration, they look better than ever. A multi-video series, now on and on the Museum's YouTube channel, documents their renovation.

In this post, the second in a series, we share one of the videos, which explores how Museum conservators re-created a lifelike blue-echo butterfly in the foreground of the coyote diorama


Set in Yosemite Valley, California, the diorama features a rhododendron bush and flowers called butterfly mariposa lilies (Calochortus venustus); the newly created butterfly now rests on one of the lilies. How did conservators mimic the lovely periwinkle insect?

For more images of the hall’s celebrated dioramas, behind-the-scenes videos, archival photos, and more, download the official Hall of North American Mammals app, for iOS or Android.

Visit the fully restored Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals, now open.

To watch the full video series, visit