Permanent Exhibits


Live Insect Terrariums

Live Insect Terrariums

Location: Insect Gallery  Exhibit: Permanent Get up close to exotic live insects, various arthropods and other critters in the Insect Gallery! Insects may be small in size, but they play a crucial role in the ecosystem. There are over 1 million terrestrial arthropod species that play important roles in pollinating flowers, aerating soil, decomposing dead organic material, and controlling insects and plant pests. Animals on exhibit include: Madagascar Hissing Cockraoches, Giant African Millipedes, Giant Cave Cockroaches, Walking Sticks, Rose-Haired Tarantula, Giant African Landsnails and more!

Moths Magnified

Moths Magnified

Location: West Hallway Exhibit: Permanent This exhibition of larger-than-life photos by Ottawa photographer Jim des Rivières evokes a new appreciation for the beauty and ecological significance of Ontario’s moths. Moths play an essential role in our ecosystem and without them, many plants would not be pollinated, and countless animals like birds and bats would starve. Each photo in the exhibition showcases an Ontario moth that has been magnified to reveal breathtaking details in colour and pattern that would have otherwise been hidden from the naked eye.

Observation Bee Hive

Honey Bee Observation Hive

Location: Insect Gallery  Exhibit: Permanent Watch closely as a thousands of honey bees work together in a social colony! Through the viewing window of the observation hive, you can spot the queen bee, the workers and the drones. Workers can be seen busily tending to brood, storing nectar and pollen for food and even feeding the queen. Honey bees perform an advanced form of insect communication known as the waggle dance. By performing the dance, honey bees can communicate the location and distance of nectar and pollen sources.

Past Exhibits


Butterflies of India

Butterflies of India & South Asia – Special Exhibition

Location: Butterfly Conservatory  September 25, 2017 – January 7, 2018 Discover thousands of freely flying butterflies in the Butterfly Conservatory, including a special exhibition of Butterflies of India & South Asia. See them flying for a limited time: September 25th through to January 7th, 2018. Butterflies to look for include the Lime Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus), the Blue Clipper (Parthenos sylvia), the Malay Cruiser (Vindula dejone), and many more. This special exhibition of free flying Indian and South Asian butterflies is in conjuntion with Ornamenting the Ordinary: Crafts of South Asia, a travelling exhibit from the Royal Ontario Museum, on display in the galleries. CLICK HERE for a guide to Butterflies of India & South Asia

Ornamenting the Ordinary: Crafts of South Asia

Ornamenting the Ordinary: Crafts of South Asia, on loan from the Royal Ontario Museum

Location: Galleries  September 25, 2017 – January 7, 2018 On loan from the Royal Ontario Museum, Ornamenting the Ordinary: Crafts of South Asia showcases the artistic styles, craftsmanship, and craft traditions of South Asia’s many culturally diverse regions. This newest addition to the roster of travelling exhibitions also explores the interaction between South Asia and the rest of the world, and how this interaction affected the craft industries. This travelling exhibit can be seen in conjunction with Butterflies of India & South Asia, flying in our Conservatory September 25, 2017 through to January 7, 2018.

Butterflies of Egypt

Butterflies of Egypt and East Africa – Special Exhibition

Location: Butterfly Conservatory May 1, 2017 – September 15, 2017 Discover thousands of freely flying butterflies in the Butterfly Conservatory, including a special exhibition of Butterflies of Egypt and East Africa. See them flying for a limited time: May 1st through to September 15th, 2017. Butterflies to look for include the Black Swordtail (Graphium colonna), the Pearl Emperor (Charaxes varanes), the Blue Pansy (Junonia oenone), and many more. Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is pleased to be working with the Kipepeo Butterfly Project in Kenya. Kipepeo supports the livelihood of over 700 people and promotes the conservation of the threatened Arabuko-Sokoke forest of coastal Kenya. This special exhibition of free flying Egyptian and East African butterflies is in conjuntion with Egypt: Gift of the Nile, a travelling exhibit from the Royal Ontario Museum, on display in the galleries. CLICK HERE for a guide to Butterflies of Egypt and East Africa

Egypt: Gift of the Nile

Egypt: Gift of the Nile, on loan from the Royal Ontario Museum

Location: Galleries May 1, 2017 – September 15, 2017 On loan from the Royal Ontario Museum, Egypt: Gift of the Nile explores the many fascinating advancements of ancient Egyptian civilization. Ancient Egyptians developed sophisticated forms of government and religion and had a rich tradition of art, architecture and literature that endured for thousands of years. Included in this exhibition is the mummy-case of Djedmaatesankh (c. 850 B.C.), as well as dozens of ancient Egyptian tools, adornments and other artifacts. This travelling exhibit can be seen in conjunction with Butterflies of Egypt and East Africa a special exhibition of thousands of free flying butterflies from Egypt and East Africa. See them in the Butterfly Conservatory from May 1st through to September 15th, 2017.

Live Insect Terrariums

Lichens

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery  November 1, 2016 – April 30, 2017 This collection includes images chosen from Lichens of North America written by Dr. Irwin M. Brodo of The Canadian Museum of Nature. The photos, taken by his co-authors Stephen and Sylvia Duran Sharnoff, are akin to modern art, showing the wide range of colour and form seen in lichen. The exhibit also contains a variety of lichen specimens, a touch table for kids, and a collection showcasing the interesting ways in which human cultures have used lichens in perfumes, poisons, dyes and traditional medicine. Image: Crustose lichens on shale © Stephen and Sylvia Duran Sharnoff

Roberta Bondar

Landscapes of Biodiversity – presented by The Roberta Bondar Foundation

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery  May 4th – October 31, 2016 This collection includes 23 fine art photographic images by Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first woman astronaut and the world’s first neurologist in space. Dr. Bondar is the only astronaut to use fine art photography to explore and reveal Earth’s natural environment from the surface. Presented by The Roberta Bondar Foundation, Landscapes of Biodiversity represents six biomes – Lakes and Rivers, Wetlands, Forests, Grasslands, Ice Across and Tundra biomes. Click here for an artist’s statement and more information about The Roberta Bondar Foundation >

Bats of Ontario

Listen to the Night: Bats of Ontario

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery  December 18, 2015 – April 30th, 2016 Objects of human fascination, bats have inhabited the night skies for more than 50 million years. This exhibition looks at the reality of these creatures—the truth behind the myths and fables that have evolved in the human imagination for centuries. The exhibition explores the diversity of species in Ontario, their hibernation and roosting habits, studies flight patterns as well as bats’ fascinating use of echolocation. It also examines health and conservation issues, and current research activities into bat behaviour.

Northern Owls

Northern Owls

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery  September 1st, 2015 – December 27th, 2015 This exhibition provides an experience of owls; creatures that are active at night and secretive during the day. Eleven beautifully mounted owl specimens are featured in small settings suggestive of their northern natural habitats. Each display focuses on fascinating and less well-known aspects of owl behaviour, biology and lifestyle.

Minerals: From Crystals to Gems

Minerals: From Crystals to Gems

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery  May 1st – August 31st, 2015 Minerals not only come in a stunning array of colours, shapes and textures, but they also play an important role in our day to day life. This exhibit features over 90 mineral specimens in display cases, 4 interactive components and large touchable specimens.  Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is the first venue to exhibit this new travelling exhibit from the Museum of Nature in Ottawa. CLICK HERE for more information on Minerals: From Crystals to Gems

Seeds in Disguise: The Biology and Lore of Ornamental Seeds

Seeds in Disguise

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery  January 1st – April 30th, 2015 Seeds are all around us: we eat them; we plant them; they parachute from dandelions; they catch in the dog’s coat or on your socks; they drop from the trees; and sometimes they even hang around your neck. This exhibition features ornamental seeds “disguised” as beads in jewellery, trinkets and ornaments.

Our Feathered Friends

Our Feathered Friends

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery  May 1st – October 19th, 2014 Our Feathered Friends introduces visitors to the basics of birdwatching including how to identify birds and how to attract them into backyards. This participatory exhibition is on loan from the Canadian Museum of Nature and includes dioramas with 23 mounted birds and interactive audio of a variety of bird songs.

Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year 3rd Edition

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery  February 4th – April 30th, 2014 This travelling exhibition presents the 30 winning photographs of the Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year Contest (3rd Edition) run by Canadian Geographic in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature. The series of large format photographs highlight the beauty, diversity, value and vulnerability of Canadian wildlife through striking and unique natural subjects. Photo credit: Bernard Pigeon of Gatineau, Quebec

Hands On Nature

Hands on Nature

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery  June 29th, 2013 – January 15th, 2014 Discover biodiversity! Learn about the broad perspective of habitats, the relationships between species within food webs, and the gene pools of particular species. Particular problems in this era of globalization are the trade in endangered species and the introduction of non-native species, which can have devastating consequences. Fortunately there are people and organizations that strive to preserve or restore native habitats and species, and Hands On Nature encourages participation in these efforts.

Pest: Hybrid insect sculptures by the thousands

by Amy Swartz

Location: East Hallway  February 26th – June 28th, 2013 “Pest: Hybrid insect sculptures by the thousands” is comprised of 12 collection cases each containing carefully crafted scenes staged by Swartz’s unique creations that combine insects with various artificial parts. All of the insects used in Swartz’s art died of natural causes and some of the insects on display were donated by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.

Learn more about “Pest” by Amy Swartz >

Monarch Coat Project

The Monarch Coat Project

Location: Butterfly and Moth Gallery January 8th – February 24th, 2013 This exhibit features two colourful kimono-style coats made at Holy Trinity High School in Simcoe by 45 grade nine students, their teacher Rosalie MacNeil, and artist/ educator Marguerite Larmand. Each student was given a rectangular section to work on and then all of the sections were combined to create the finished product. Textiles were carefully selected with the Monarch butterfly and caterpillar in mind. Some are natural fibres such as cotton and silk and some have shiny or matte surfaces.

Monarch Coat Project

Canada’s Waterscapes

Location: Galleries and Front Foyer  June 1st – January 6th, 2013 Imagine yourself diving beneath the Arctic ice into a world full of life and colour! Follow a group of endangered Whooping Cranes to their remote wetland nesting ground in Wood Buffalo National Park. Explore your aquatic side in this engaging, family-friendly, interactive exhibition. Canada’s Waterscapes: Yours to Enjoy, Explore and Protect is the newest travelling exhibition from the Canadian Museum of Nature and its partners. Dive in and find out what it takes to understand and take care of Canada’s aquatic ecosystems. Learn more >