Published: April 6, 2016

Editors: A media preview of the exhibit will be held at the CU Museum of Natural History from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday, April 8. Media interested in attending should contact Trent Knoss at 303-735-0528 or

The CU Museum of Natural History invites the public to learn about the fascinating world of butterflies and the extraordinary role they play in human life at the new “Becoming Butterflies” exhibit, opening Saturday, April 9 on the University of Colorado Boulder campus.

The museum will host interactive Family Day activities from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m, where visitors can discover the difference between moths and butterflies, learn about Monarch Migration while making Mexican tin art, see live caterpillars and learn about metamorphosis and start their own butterfly garden.  All activities are free and open to the public.

The exhibit allows visitors to see brilliant images and video of Colorado butterflies and explore displays of specimens from the CU Entomology collection.  The exhibit spans feet 1,556 square feet and focuses on life cycle of a butterfly as it transitions from egg to larva to pupa to adult. Although adult butterflies capture the most attention, 95 percent of a butterfly’s life is spent in the larval stage and 99 percent of the butterfly’s impact on the environment occurs while in the larval stage.

“It’s like stepping into a whole new wild world of butterflies like you’ve never seen before,” said CU Museum Assistant Director Sharon Tinianow.

Four species of butterflies native to Colorado will be featured prominently throughout the exhibit.

In conjunction with the “Becoming Butterflies” exhibit, the CU Museum of Natural History will also host two public lectures by Deane Bowers, Curator of Entomology and Professor and Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CU-Boulder.  Admission to both lectures is free:

The Biology of Butterflies
Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Time: 7-9 PM

Learn about the fascinating biology of butterflies (and caterpillars); they are much more than airy fragile creatures!   Find out about what they eat and why; how they taste and smell; how they are different from moths and their arsenal of defenses.

Butterflies and Butterfly Gardening
Date: Monday, April 25, 2016
Time: 7-9 PM

Colorado is home to more than 250 species of butterflies. According to Professor Bowers, “Colorado has one of the most diverse butterfly communities in the United States.” Professor Bowers will share her love of the natural beauty of Colorado’s native butterflies, introduce some of the rare and common species found in Colorado, and explain how to attract butterflies to your garden. At this lecture you will learn how providing nectar sources for adult butterflies as well as planting food sources for growing caterpillars can play an important role in the survival of butterflies.

The University of Colorado Museum of Natural History is located on the CU-Boulder campus in the Henderson Building at 15th Street and Broadway. The museum is open every day (except for university holidays) and admission is free.

Suzanne Balog, 303-492-3396
Trent Knoss, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-735-0528

a purple butterfly