The lifecycle of the Chequered Copper butterfly, in extended reality

Enter the extraordinary world 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 at The Herding Caterpillars Festival, with theatre, storytelling, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.


Herding Caterpillars Festival is proudly supported by Green Adelaide.

The theatre performance

See the mutual symbiosis between the ant, caterpillar and butterfly.

Kate McMurray