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  April 8, 2002

Natural History Museum Event
Features Butterflies and Moths
By Carol Davidge

On Sunday, April 14, from 1 to 5 p.m., come to the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at UConn, 2019 Hillside Road, Storrs, to celebrate a "Special Event: Look Closer - Butterflies and Moths!" and the opening of the Museum's latest exhibit.

Explore the wondrous world of butterflies and moths, the ecological processes needed to sustain them, and how these Museum collections relate to you. See a display of more than 1,000 specimens from the Museum's collections, including the largest moth in the world, a moth the size of a pinhead, and an array of iridescent butterflies, as well as butterflies and moths that are native to Connecticut. On April 14 only, live butterflies will be on display.

Also during the April 14 event, children can enjoy varied hands-on learning experiences, including projects to take home. They will be able to:

  • create a butterfly garden to plant and enjoy at home;
  • make a butterfly journal for their own scientific investigations;
  • take a microscopic look at butterfly wings and other body parts; andmap Monarch butterflies' migration and learn how they prepare for and travel more than 3,000 miles from Mexico to Connecticut.

The "Look Closer - Butterflies and Moths" exhibit, planned in collaboration with UConn scientists, explores the intricate relationships among species and explains how scientific, technological, and social changes can influence natural processes and affect ecosystem health in the future.

"This exhibit is one of a series of exhibits that will explore the relationships between people and the environment, using our collections," says Ellen Censky, director of the Museum. "This first exhibit is on butterflies and moths. The Museum has a spectacular collection of butterflies and moths from around the world. Not only are these creatures beautiful, they are an intricate part of our living system, providing us with services such as pollinating plants, providing food for other species, and providing us with materials such as silk. Did you know that if we didn't have butterflies, we might not have caffeine! The exhibit will explore these relationships and more."

In the coming months, related lectures and workshops will also provide special opportunities for learning about butterflies and moths for people of all ages.

While the Museum is under renovation, "Look Closer - Butterflies and Moths!" will be the only exhibit on display. It will continue through July 31 in the Museum, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Parking is available in the South Parking Garage, next door to the Museum, or in Lot 8 above the Museum. For information, call (860) 486-4460.

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