Discovery Zone

Some of the worlds largest, spikiest, hairiest and most camouflaged caterpillars are on show with cocoons, giant silkmoths and shining pupae hanging on the plants. Lots to see, but look hard or you'll miss them!

Life Cycle

In the Discovery Zone you can see all the stages of the butterfly’s life cycle, including the egg, the caterpillar, the chrysalis and the adult butterfly.

Eggs. The first stage is the female butterfly laying beautifully shaped eggs. She lays them on exactly the right leaves for the caterpillars to eat.

Caterpillars. There can be all sizes and colours of caterpillars to see, some small, some large, some camouflaged and some a variety of colours. It is worth looking closely to find them.

 

Chrysalis. The chrysalis is another fascinating stage in the life cycle. Inside the chrysalis the miracle takes place, of the caterpillar turning into the beautiful butterfly we see flying around.

 

Emerging Case

As you leave the Discovery Zone you will see the Emerging Case where we hang all of the Chrysalis (pupae) that come from abroad. This is one of the most important areas of the farm because it is here where the butterflies emerge (come out) of the chrysalis and prepare their wings for the first flight.

Citrus Swallowtail Caterpillar

At the beginning of its caterpillar life this squidgy caterpillar look a bit like bird poo!

Owl Butterfly Caterpillar

This fat brown caterpillar can be a pest in Banana plantations in South America! Just a few of these caterpillars can eat all of the leaves form a Banana plant in a few weeks -Ahhh! No Bananas. From a distance it looks like it has a row of spikes down the middle of its back, but on closer inspection these are actually a collection of soft hairs.