Newport News, VA (July 28, 2023) At 10:00 AM on July 27th, more than 450 butterflies and moths, as well as dozens of chrysalis, were released into the Butterfly Haven exhibit, where they will have access to a multitude of native plants that encourage butterflies, moths, and other pollinators healthy life cycles. The Virginia Living Museum has actively participated in butterfly conservation efforts for over 30 years with efforts such as the NABA Butterfly Count Tag and Release program that allows the Museum to track butterflies for thousands of miles. The Butterfly Haven exhibit will allow guests to be up close and personal with a variety of native butterflies and see them in all stages of life from egg to caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly!
Some of the amazing species of butterflies included are Question Marks, Sulphurs, Whites, and Gulf Fritillary. Two new species of butterflies introduced to the Butterfly Haven this year are Giant Swallowtails and Tiger Swallowtails. Also, moths are new to the exhibit, spectacular Luna moths and the Polyphemus moth. “This year’s Butterfly Haven will be great fun with a few new arrivals as well as some very familiar friends,” says Virginia Living Museum Horticulture Curator, Darl Fletcher.
Another addition that will arrive soon at the Butterfly Haven is the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch butterfly is no stranger to the Butterfly Haven as it has been a part of the Museum’s educational programs for over 34 years. The Monarch butterfly has been declared endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature. The Virginia Living Museum engages in Monarch butterfly conservation through AZA Monarch SAFE and Monarch Watch.
All of the butterflies and moths located in this exhibit are species native to Virginia. The Virginia Living Museum encourages gardeners to plant native species which are better suited to the local climate and soils and are more beneficial to our native wildlife species. By doing this, gardeners can play a part in nurturing existing ecosystems and aid in conserving native species, such as the Monarch butterfly.
The Butterfly Haven exhibit will be open to the public on July 29 and will close on September 24, 2023.
About the Virginia Living Museum
The Virginia Living Museum is a leader in natural living exhibits! Native Virginia mammals, marine life, reptiles, amphibians, birds, plants, and planets are presented in natural ecosystems that connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation.
Accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (living exhibits) and the American Alliance of Museums (non-live collections), the Museum’s high standards are its hallmark, as only fourteen institutions share this designation in the country.
Created by the Warwick Rotary Club and Junior League of Hampton Roads in 1966, the Museum is an independent 501c3 organization, a successful public/private partnership with the City of Newport News and Museum guests. The Museum is built by the community, beloved by the community, and sustained by the community.
Located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News (I-64, exit 258-A), hours are 9 to 5 daily. Learn more at thevlm.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or call 757-595-1900.