Puelicher Butterfly Wing

 Transport yourself to a sensory wonderland.

Stroll through a lush, tropical garden. Hear the murmur of a cascading waterfall and the soothing sounds of tranquil music. Watch as exotic butterflies emerge from their chrysalises and sip nectar right before your eyes.

This magical atmosphere, filled with swirls of brilliant color and fanciful patterns of butterflies in flight, can only be found in the Museum's Puelicher Butterfly Wing.

The breathtaking, two-story butterfly wing is a technological wonder. Its glass-enclosed garden was designed to provide fragile butterflies with a tropical environment throughout every Wisconsin season. This spectacular architectural surroundings in the Museum will change the way you look at these delicate creatures.

Be awed while wandering amid free-flying butterflies. Encounter native species and exotic ones like the giant, electric-blue Morpho. Then, raise your "Insect IQ" in our learning gallery, which is packed with interactive stations and examples of Museum science at work.

 Study these wonders of nature up close in our working butterfly laboratory. Kids can roam through a super-sized habitat and transform themselves into caterpillars and butterflies with colorful costumes. Hands-on exhibits and projects will engage all ages with plenty of learning and loads of fun.

Cultures throughout the centuries have used butterfly images in art and other creations to express their vision of nature. See examples of these items from around the world. For a subject closer to home, visit a diorama of a Wisconsin backyard for tips on attracting butterflies to your neighborhood.

One of nature's best indicators of the health of an environment, butterflies teach us a great deal about habitats and change. Follow the ongoing work of Museum scientists as they chart the incredible diversity of species in the Costa Rican rainforest and learn how our scientists are leading a program to reintroduce the endangered Swamp Metalmark to rare wetland fens in Wisconsin.

Surrounding the exhibit is the wondrous Wall of Diversity. It showcases more than 1,000 different species of butterflies and moths from our collection, representing a century of research.

Due to the generosity of the Puelicher Foundation and other significant benefactors, the exhibit and garden is free with regular Museum Admission.


Exhibit Accessibility & Social Stories

A vivarium is a structure that is built for animals to live as closely as possible to their natural habitat. There are hundreds of live butterflies flying around this glass room. You will wait in line to enter and listen to the rules of the exhibit before entering. Some butterflies may land on you. The butterflies will not hurt you; they usually fly away very quickly. Please do not touch any of the butterflies, they are very delicate and can be injured easily. You can check out an Explorer Kit from the ticket windows that has a braille and tactile book as well as objects that represent the life cycle of the butterfly.