Annual Butterfly Experience at the SB Museum of Natural History

By Joanne A Calitri   |   June 4, 2024
Monarch butterflies and their chrysalids in the Butterfly Emergence Chamber at the SB Museum of Natural History (courtesy photo)
A zebra longwing butterfly nectars on verbena flowers (courtesy photo)

Nature lovers unite, it is time for the annual live butterfly expo at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, on now through September 2. The exhibit is held at the Sprague Butterfly Pavilion at the museum daily (except Tuesdays) from 10 am to 5 pm.

There will be over 24 species and over 1,000 tropical butterflies feeding and flying around the pavilion. The pavilion is a pollinator garden area with a mix of native and non-native habitat plants. There is also an emergence chamber where visitors can view butterflies going through various stages of development. The museum explains that visiting weekly provides people with different butterflies each time. On hand to help in understanding and identifying the butterflies you spot will be museum interpreters.

SB Museum of Natural History Director of Guest Experience Kim Zsembik – “Guests can delight in two experiences by viewing our butterfly emergence chamber and live butterfly garden. We rear more than 5,000 butterfly chrysalids each summer and will host more than 24 species of butterfly. Nowhere in nature do you see these sparkling and dazzling chrysalids all together. We hope this inspires curiosity and interest in learning more about the life cycles of insects.” 

The team at the museum invites the community to support the care and maintenance of the butterflies alive by making a donation of any size. Supporters will have their names on the museum’s Wall of Wings. To donate, contact Development Assistant Robert Shutt at (805) 682-4711 ext.110 or email him at 

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