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Herding Caterpillars Festival 2024 for schools

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Event description

Enter the extraordinary world of the Chequered Copper Butterfly with your classes! Through theatre, storytelling, virtual reality and hands-on activities, your students 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. 

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

Curriculum links:

  • Year 4 to Year 7 Science: AC9S4U01, AC9S5U01, AC9S6U01, AC9S7U01, AC9S7U02
  • Year 4 to Year 5 Art: AC9HH7K03, AC9HH7K04
  • Year 5 to Year 7 Drama: AC9ADR6E01, AC9ADR8E01

Year Level
Year 4 to Year 7
Wednesday 7, Thursday 8 and Friday 9 August 2024
Session 1:
9:30am to 11.30am

Session 2:
12:00pm to 2:00pm
Bicentennial Conservatory, Adelaide Botanic Garden 

Standard cost
$7.85 per student (minimum charge of $157.00 per session)

Discount for DfE Category of Disadvantage 1-4 sites, rural and remote schools
$5.75 per student (minimum charge of $115.00 per session)

30 students maximum per ticket
Costs will be invoiced after the excursion

Planning your Excursion
Please read this information before your visit to ensure the best possible experience and learning outcomes.
Planning your visit

The Herding Caterpillars Festival

Photo credit: Rosina Possingham

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