blue morpho butterfly, butterfly garden, MOS, Museum of Science Boston,

Butterfly Garden

My son and I visited the Butterfly Garden exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston. He missed his third grade school field trip because he had Strep Throat the last week of school so I promised him a make up trip as part of his Camp Mom week. I used to take his older sisters to the Museum of Science frequently when they were younger but I realize now that we haven’t visited here in a few years. Too bad. It’s one of the best museums for kids in Boston and because it’s huge, it never feels overwhelmingly crowded the way The Boston Children’s Museum can.

This wasn’t my son’s favorite stop — he much preferred The Sea Monster 3D movie and the dinosaur exhibit — but I always find butterfly gardens to be magical.

The Butterfly Garden tickets are extra … would you buy tickets to visit a Butterfly Exhibit in addition to the museum entrance fee?

I’ve tried to identify the butterflies we saw but it wasn’t easy. Please help me out if you see an error or know which butterfly it is. I was feeling very Calpurnia Tate trying to ID them. Speaking of Calpurnia Tate, I’ll be posting on our Top 10 Butterfly Books for Kids tomorrow. As with most of my book lists, it’s picture book fiction or biography — no non fiction though I’d love your suggestions for those!

butterfly garden, MOS, Museum of Science Boston,

 Great Yellow Mormon, Papilio lowii

The Great Mormon (Papilio memnon) is a large butterfly that belongs to the swallowtail family and is found in southern Asia. 

butterfly garden, MOS, Museum of Science Boston, moth crysalis

The Atlas Moth Crysalis, Attacus Atlas

The Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) is a large saturniid moth found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, and common across the Malay archipelago.

Atlas moths are considered the largest moths in the world in terms of total wing surface area [upwards of c. 400 cm2 (62 sq in)]. Their wingspans are also amongst the largest, reaching over 25 cm (10 in). Females are appreciably larger and heavier.

butterfly garden, MOS, Museum of Science Boston,

blue morpho butterfly, butterfly garden, MOS, Museum of Science Boston,

Blue Morpho Butterfly

When the Blue Morpho Butterfly opens its wings, you can see the beautiful blue wings. Closed up, it looks like the eyes of an owl staring out; great protection from birds who might want to eat it. My son informs me of this fact though I’m not sure how he’s learned this.

Morpho butterfly may be one of over 29 accepted species and 147 accepted subspecies of butterflies in the genus Morpho. They areNeotropical butterflies found mostly in South America as well as Mexico and Central America.


image from London Moore Beauty

butterfly garden, MOS, Museum of Science Boston,

butterfly garden, MOS, Museum of Science Boston,

Ruby-Spotted Swallowtail,  Papilo anchisiades

The Ruby-spotted Swallowtail or Red-spotted Swallowtail (Papilio anchisiades) is a butterfly of the Papilionidae family. It is found from southern Texas south to Argentina. A rare stray can be found up to Kansas, south-eastern Arizona and western Texas.

butterfly garden exhibit

Common Parides, Parides iphidamus

Parides iphidamas is a species of butterfly in the family Papilionidae. It is commonly known as the Iphidamas Cattleheart and theTransandean Cattleheart.

I have no idea what these butterflies are below.

butterfly garden exhibit

butterfly garden, MOS, Museum of Science Boston,

butterfly garden, MOS, Museum of Science Boston,

I caught the butterflies feeding.

Here’s another video of butterflies drinking nectar from a flower. For a more amazing video on pollination which includes both insects and birds, check The Beauty of Pollination out!

All butterfly factoids from Wikipedia.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Truly amazing photos! I love to watch butterflies hovering in the garden during summer….wish it could last all year long. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous pictures.
    Barbara Mojica recently posted…A LIFE OF ILLUSIONMy Profile

  2. Catherine

    They are stunning, Mia. I haveb’t seen most of those before.
    Catherine recently posted…Resting LaurelsMy Profile

  3. You got some really great butterfly pictures there!! Thank you for linking up at Super Sunday Sync. I am your latest G+ follower.
    Rosey recently posted…That’s How Monday’s RollMy Profile

  4. Ann

    I really want to read Calpurnia Tale. It is sitting on my night stand!
    I think too we saw a blue morpho a couple weekends ago, great photo!
    I would pay extra, I will pay extra but I don’t like paying extra : )

    • Hi Ann,
      I wish I caught the Blue Morpho with its wings open. I had to find a photo for that. It flew right by me too. Oh well. So hard to catch on my iPhone. I know what you mean about not wanting to pay for an extra ticket times a bunch of people. Try Calpurnia Tate as a read aloud with your oldest. I did that and it forced me to finally read it even though I really wanted too! I think your daughter would love it. Love strong girl characters and Calpurnia Tate is wonderful for that!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Dinosaur T Rex : Not the Fiercest!My Profile

  5. Your photos are amazing. California Academy of Science in San Francisco also has an amazing butterfly exhibit, but the crowds are hard to brave. One day we will have to go back 🙂
    Natalie recently posted…Egypt History Lesson–A Field Trip and a BookMy Profile

  6. We love the butterfly garden at our local zoo. It’s nice because they give you a card with all the names and pictures of butterflies so you can identify them, but you’ve done such a nice job on your own!

  7. Beautiful pictures!! I’m stopping by from Countdown in Style blog hop.
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  8. Nice post. I love butterflies. The pics are great. I’m happy your son still had a chance to visit. Thanks for sharing.
    Tameka recently posted…Making The Grade?My Profile

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