University of Minnesota
Go to the U of M home page

Home > For Adults > Exhibits > Flutter



Open June 2, 2012 through Fall 2012

Lepidoptera – butterflies and moths – are renowned for their delicate beauty and amazing diversity. From the mysteries of metamorphosis to their intricate ecological interdependence with flowering plants, butterflies have provided insights into many biological concepts and inspired people throughout the ages.
Browse 25 panels and cases with real specimens that explore topics such as butterfly life cycles, warning coloration, butterfly gardening and conservation. The exhibition will also include small dioramas, build-your-own butterfly and moth models, photos and artworks.

Visit the Bell Museum's Courtyard Butterfly Garden 

The butterfly garden has native prairie plants that provide larval food and nectar to a variety of butterfly species. At the center of the garden are two large cupplants, Silphium perfoliatum, that will grow to over six feet tall. Other plants include: common and swamp milkweed, black-eyed Susan, wild bergamot, Joe pyeweed, blueflag iris, Canada amemone, New England aster, and tall blazingstar.


Right now we have had red admiral butterflies using the garden. Soon the monarchs will be back and we often see, tiger swallowtail, white admiral and painted lady butterflies. In mid-summer when the plants are in peak bloom, the garden is buzzing with honey bees from our hives and many other insects.




Learn about Lepidoptera

University of Minnesota Department of Entomology

University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

The Importance of Butterflies, with Karen Oberhauser

Butterfly Gardening