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Butterfly exhibit in Riverhead to open in July

Seals swim in a pond outside Atlantis Marine

Seals swim in a pond outside Atlantis Marine World on East Main Street in Riverhead. (March 22, 2011) Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

A new butterfly exhibit at the Atlantis Marine World will open July 1, with two other additions to the aquarium on East Main Street opening later in the summer.

Construction on the aquarium expansion began last summer.

The Sea Star Grand Ballroom and adjacent 100-room Hyatt Place East End hotel will add 28,000 square feet to the facility.

The 5,000-square-foot butterfly exhibit — which officials say is the largest dedicated to butterflies in New York State — will contain thousands of butterflies from around the world, made up from 30 North American and exotic tropical species and 20 species of birds. They will fly inside a manmade natural setting complete with several gardens, a treehouse and a pond.

There will also be some archerfish — a species that catches land-based insects by hitting them with droplets of water.

The butterflies have been obtained from distributors across the country. The exhibit is expected to run for a limited time, with the end date yet to be announced.

Tickets for the Long Island Exhibition Center, which includes an exhibition hall, banquet hall and conference center, are $12.50 for adults and $10.50 for children and seniors.

Pictured above: Seals swim in a pond outside Atlantis Marine World on East Main Street in Riverhead. (March 22, 2011)

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