Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
  Home >

-sub test 3
-Camouflage Techniques
-Take a Peek
-The Natural History of Water
-Astronomers of the Month
-2009 ArtWalk Indoor Exhibition Winners
-The Artists
-What is a Watershed
-Super Sea Animals
-Meet the Animals
-Blue Whale
Skeleton Dismantle
-Designing Your Learning Experience
-Coffee Camps
-Meet the Animals
-Sneak Peek into the Science PlayLab
-Wild Shrimp & Prawns
-2012 - The Sun's Magnetic Field
-The Natural History of Butterflies
-The Natural History of Butterflies
-Let's Talk About Race
-Let's Talk About Race
-Restoring the Skull
-Restoring the Skeleton
-Mug Shots
-Planning Lunch
- The Butterfly Nursery
-Biodiversity & You
-2012 - Planetary Conjunction
-Water Pollution
-Superpowers Headquarters
-What is a Watershed
-WANTED: Plastic Bottles Tops
-The Natural History of Butterflies
-What is a Dinosaur?
-Awards & Winners
-Blue Whale Skeleton Returns
-List of Artwork
-Super Hero Kits
-Message in Water
-Water Pollution
-About Glenna Hartmann
-Theme of the Month
-Dinosaur Timeline
-Can You Find 'em All?
-The Butterfly Nursery
-What Can You Do?
-The Butterfly Nursery
-Biodiversity & You
Butterflies Alive!
-Scheduling Your Field Trip
-Buy-A-Bone Recognition
-Photo Gallery
-Volunteers Needed!
-2012 - Galactic Equator
-About Chris Jordan
-Biodiversity and You
-Go Observe!
-Message in Water
-What Can You Do
-sub test 2 giants
-2012 - The Maya Calendar
-Preparing for your Visit
-Secrets to a Great Field Trip
-2012 - Planet X and Nibiru
-Butterflies Alive!
Mobile App
-What Can You Do
-Butterflies Alive Sponsors
- Butterfly Sponsorship
-Butterflies Alive Guide

  The Butterfly Nursery
share page:

The Butterfly Nursery is an emergence chamber which contains butterflies and moths in the pupa stage. The Museum receives shipments of pupae twice weekly from butterfly ranches across the United States. Our Insectary staff carefully unpacks them and places them in this emergence chamber to complete it’s development. This emergence chamber is in full compliance with standard operating procedures approved by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and CDFA (California Department of Food and Agriculture) ensuring the protection of local ecosystems.

During the larval stage, caterpillars must shed their exoskeletons to accommodate rapid growth. This shedding is called molting. When the larva is full grown, it molts into the third stage of its life cycle, known as the pupa.

Monarch Caterpillar

Most pupae remain motionless. Others make rapid jerking motions when disturbed. The butterfly pupa is called a chrysalis. It may be camouflaged or very decorative and colorful.

The pupae of most moths are buried in the soil or leaf litter. Some are encased in a protective silk cocoon.

Inside these pupae, big changes are happening. Cells of the larva break down and reorder the living tissue to form an adult moth or butterfly. This pupa stage may last for several weeks or months, depending on the species. Some pupae sense environmental conditions to determine when to emerge.

Monarch Pupae

Once emerged from the pupa, the adult crawls out to find a good place to unfold its wings. It pumps fluid through the wing veins to stretch and strengthen them. The adult will flap its wings up and down to dry them out before flying away to search for food or to find mate.


Exhibitions | Sea Center | Gladwin Planetarium | Education | Collections & Research
Members | Support SBMNH | About Us | Site Map
Your privacy is important - privacy policy © 2016 Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History