Methuselah refers to the fourth generation of monarch butterflies that complete a transcontinental journey in an annual migratory cycle.
This generation has an extended lifespan that allows the species to survive long enough to complete the migration.
As part of an international community of cultural institutions, and the home to the only butterfly pavilion in the Southwest dedicated to native species, Desert Botanical Garden is proud to support Methuselah, a digital artwork created by artist Reynier Leyva Novo.
Methuselah is unique in its accessibility to the public and unprecedented look at a day in the life of a monarch butterfly. This innovative project not only shares the migratory patterns and life cycle of the monarch butterfly but also showcases themes of migration, climate change, trans-border cooperation and resilience.
After working for more than a year with butterfly and software experts, Reynier Leyva Novo translated the methuselah monarch butterfly from an analog specimen to a digital animation.
The virtual avatar can be viewed online all day and gives a real-time representation of the movements and patterns of a single monarch butterfly. This close attention to a monarch’s behavior is impossible to follow in the wild, but the artwork offers a new way of viewing and understanding the importance and plight of the species. You can view it online at www.methuselahmonarch.com
The monarch butterfly is endangered. Loss of milkweed habitat is a major factor in their decline. Learn more about how you can help by planting milkweed and nectar plants at home.