Stepping into our outdoor butterfly house has been one of the most popular summer sensations at the Museum. The hot, sunny days have helped to keep our tropical high-fliers active and abundant.
The Sensational Butterflies exhibition closes this Sunday, 15 September. It's been a family favourite for visitors during the summer months.
Last weekend I visited the Sensational Butterflies exhibition once again and was lucky to catch a silk moth in all its splendour, newly emerged inside the hatchery, surrounded by bewitched youngsters. Among the luxurious undergrowth, hanging precariously from banana leaves, were little furry owl butterfly caterpillars and the zebra butterflies were everywhere.
Leaving soon - the Sensational Butterflies house
Just today, Luke Brown, our butterfly house manager, told me that a new type of owl butterfly has appeared recently in the house for the first time. Look out for Caligo atreus (below left) on your visit. You can tell it from other owl butterflies by its vibrant colours.
Highlghts of the exhibition in the heat of the summer included the monster Atlas moths and other almost-as-large moth pupae (below).
You have until 17.30 on Sunday 15 September to get to Sensational Butterflies here at the Museum. After Sunday evening, all the butterflies will be going to another butterfly house (probably Longleat) and the house will be kept in storage for another year…
Until then, there's still time to enter our free prize draw to win a sleepover at the Museum and tweet your own butterfly and moth photos to @NHM_London to be pinned on our Sensational Butterflies Pinterest board.
Thanks to last month's Pinterest winner, Martin, whose fab photo was drawn from the Jul-Aug entries.
Once the butterflies leave, more wildlife will be coming soon to the Museum in the shape of the eagerly-anticipated Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 exhibition, which opens on 18 October.