Herding Caterpillars Festival

Dates: Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August 2024

Times: 3 sessions per day; 9:30am, 12:00pm or 2:30pm

Location: Bicentennial Conservatory, Adelaide Botanic Garden (C12 on the map)

Ages: 6 years old and over

Tickets: $5.00 per person (plus booking fee)


Enter the extraordinary world of the Chequered Copper Butterfly with your family! Through theatre, storytelling, virtual reality and hands-on activities, your family will discover the amazing story of the Chequered Copper Butterfly.

Hiding beneath our noses in the Adelaide Park Lands is a story that you will find hard to believe.

It is a story that has taken place for thousands of years, every year, in the grasslands of Adelaide and rediscovered in Victoria Park (Pakapakanthi) in 2011.

The eggs of a tiny caterpillar are checked by common black ants and when they hatch the baby caterpillars are herded to their favourite host plant to feed.

The ants shepherd the caterpillars down into their nest for rest and protection at the end of each day. In return, the ants feed from the nectary gland at the end of the caterpillar.

Eventually the tubby caterpillar pupates in the ant nest and emerges as the beautiful Chequered Copper Butterfly.

Sounds incredible doesn't it! This remarkable symbiotic relationship will be brought to life during The Herding Caterpillars Festival.

This 90 minute experience includes a rendition of the Herding Caterpillars play, the VR experience, storytelling, artwork creation and much more. This event is brought to you by Butterfly Conservation SA and the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium.

Don't miss the chance to bring your family to this engaging and interactive experience held within the lush indoor temperate rainforest of the Bicentennial Conservatory at the Adelaide Botanic Garden!

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