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Celebrate spring in a burst of colour

Sensational Butterflies returns to the Museum from 31 March to 17 September 2017.

This Easter, escape to the tropical butterfly house and watch the crawling caterpillar transform into the beautiful butterfly. 

This immersive exhibition is filled with life, colour and beauty and features species found in the tropical forests of Central and South America, Africa and Asia.

The trail takes you through a tropical habitat of flowers, vines and foliage. As butterflies flutter overhead, you'll pass chomping caterpillars, glistening chrysalises and busy feeding stations as you learn more about these charming creatures.

This exhibition is the perfect place to admire the intricate detail and diversity of these creatures. Find out more about different ways to look at butterflies and how Museum scientists use powerful microscopes to reveal details smaller than the human eye can see.

‘As one of our planet’s most loved insects, butterflies are some of the most interesting organisms. They can see a wider spectrum of colours than us, and have evolved colour patterns used to communicate with their environment,’ says Dr Blanca Huertas, Senior Butterfly Curator at the Natural History Museum. ‘Sensational Butterflies gives us the chance to enjoy a bit of a tropical forest here in the city.’

Highlights include: 

  • watching butterflies hatch from delicate chrysalises, unfolding their wings for the first time
  • searching for caterpillars hidden in the foliage and at different life stages and sizes
  • seeing butterflies feed and pause their flight to enjoy nectar and fruit
  • watching butterflies engage with each other
  • butterfly-friendly tips and advice from the Butterfly House team

The exhibition is inspired by the Museum's world-leading butterfly and moth collection of more than 10 million specimens assembled over 200 years. The collection is used by scientists around the world studying the diversity of the species and how they are affected by environmental changes.

As it enters its ninth year, Sensational Butterflies remains a spring and summer favourite for schools, families and anyone seeking solace from the city. 

For more information and to book tickets, go to


Notes for editors 

Images: Please download and credit: © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London (Link not for publication)

Media contact: +44 (0) 20 7942 5654/+44 (0) 7799 690151

  • The Natural History Museum welcomes more than five million visitors a year and is a world-leading science research centre. The Museum was named the Cultural Attraction of the Year at the London Lifestyle Awards 2016, as voted by the public. Through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling the biggest challenges facing the world today. It helps enable food security, eradicate disease and manage resource scarcity. It is studying the diversity of life and the delicate balance of ecosystems to ensure the survival of our planet.
  • Discover South Kensington brings together the Natural History Museum and other leading cultural and educational organisations to promote innovation and learning. South Kensington is the home of science, arts and inspiration. Discovery is at the core of what happens here and there is so much to explore every day.