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A Multicolored Kaleidoscope

Watch colorful butterflies flutters in our Butterfly Pavilion.

 butterlfy on flower

Did you know there’s another word for a swarm of butterflies? It’s kaleidoscope. Around the world, kaleidoscopes (great gatherings of butterflies) are considered auspicious signs of future happenings. At NHM, a kaleidoscope of butterflies from all over North America means our Butterfly Pavilion is back.

NHM invites you to discover how these colorful creatures’ life cycles unfold in the Butterfly Pavilion. You’ll find caterpillars munching on milkweed, chrysalises dangling beneath shrubs, and witness adult butterflies performing important pollination as they feed on blooming flowers. You’ll be able to tell your white peacocks from your painted ladies in no time, and repeated visits will help you match the adults to their humble caterpillars. The Pavilion provides a great illustration of some of the roles insects play in our natural world that are so often hidden in our day-to-day lives. Butterflies also paint a beautiful picture of evolution, with vivid survival strategies as plain and stunning as the coloring of their wings. Whether it’s the regal orange of the gulf fritillary or the lush green of the malachites overhead, you can be sure there will always be something new at the Pavilion, where the butterflies are constantly changing like nature’s own kaleidoscope. If you stand very still, a piece of Spring might just land on your nose and stay a while.