Food Plant Walk

Ever wondered how on earth we manage to feed over 1500 tropical butterflies a day? Pondered over what plant a Cairns Birdwing Butterfly eats or how much a Hercules Moth caterpillar consumes? Our food plant walk is here to provide answers to all your buzzing, fluttering questions…

The food plant walk at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is a twenty minute educational guided walk around our grounds displaying various caterpillar host food plants.  All of these plants are grown on site and are used by our laboratory staff to feed our caterpillars.

Fun Fast Food Facts

  • We produce around 20,000 butterfly pupa per year.
  • We grow 25 species of food plant to breed around 20 species of local butterflies.
  • Our Cairns Birdwing Caterpillars need 100 metres of vine per week!
  • We have 3 acres of land to cultivate our food plants on site.
  • 20 silkmoth caterpillars will eat one whole Mulberry plant!
  • We collect around 50 to 100 litres of plant material daily

gomphocarpus fruticosus

Food Plants To Discover

Aristolochia tagala – Cairns Birdwing

Melicope elleryana – Ulysses Butterfly

Citrus trees (lemon, lime grapefruit) –  Orchard, Ambrax, Fuscus and Dainty Swallowtail Butterflies

Adenia heterophylla – Red Lacewing, Orange lacewing and Cruiser Butterflies

Asytasia gangetica – Common Eggfly, Blue Banded Eggfly butterflies

Mulberry trees – Silk moths

Bleeding Heart tree – Hercules moths

The Plant Walk is included in your admission! Ask our friendly staff for times when you visit! Book online now

Please note: This guided walk has uneven paths and is unsuitable for prams, wheelchairs and walking aids. Flat enclosed shoes are recommended. Children must be supervised. Participants must follow the guide’s instructions at all times.