Smithsonian staff are all aflutter (pun intended) about the new Butterfly Pavilion at the National Museum of Natural History. We’re really excited about sharing this amazing new space with Affiliates this summer at the conference.
Officially titled “Butterflies and Plants: Partners in Evolution,” the accompanying exhibition on co-evolution paves the way for the lush tropical experience that is the pavilion itself. Museum staff provide a handy pictorial guide to the butterflies inside, and it’s very easy for visitors to get up close and personal… often, a butterfly will land on a shoulder or hand! More importantly, visitors can see the interrelationship between the insects and plants, observing butterflies’ & their long tongues (proboscis) sucking out nectar or juice from the pieces of fruit available, before going on to pollinate other plants.
The butterflies arrive in Washington in their cocoons (sorry, chrysalides) from farms around the world, and are displayed in a case inside the pavilion. Watching them emerge is another cool part of the experience, as is the inspection all visitors go through upon leaving, to make sure no “hitchhikers” leave the space. It’s sure to be a not-to-be-missed Washington experience, so sign up now! or, click here for more pics. Enjoy!