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Explore the Fascinating World of Caterpillars

Butterflies Go Free – February 18 to April 24
Montréal, February 17, 2016 - 

Inspired by this year's theme, Montréal Space for Life invites you to See the big picture at its 19th edition of Butterflies Go Free, the colourful event produced by the Insectarium, starting February 18. In the heart of the Botanical Garden's Main Exhibition Greenhouse, relive your childhood as multicoloured butterflies flutter around you or as you make your way through an enormous caterpillar-shaped tunnel. You'll have fun checking out all the different species of colourful and oddly shaped caterpillars, too.

Surprising caterpillars

Green, yellow or blue, covered in hairs or spines, spotted or striped, caterpillars have an important job to do: store up enough energy in order to pupate and then become butterflies and moths if they are to ensure the survival of the species. This is your chance to observe them up close under the leaves on their favourite plants and admire the incredible variety of patterns they sport. You can also see them in different stages of development and learn to match up the different caterpillars with the butterflies and moths in the greenhouse – you'll see, it's not always easy!

Did you know that a caterpillar…

…has 4,000 muscles, compared with just 629 in the human body!
…can gulp down a huge number of leaves in order to store up energy: up to 27,000 times its weight!
…increases its weight by over 2,700 times in just a few weeks!

Butterflies Go Free in figures

  • About a dozen different species of caterpillars can be observed in different stages of growth.
  • The temperature in the Main Exhibition Greenhouse ranges from 24 °C to 29 °C.
  • 75 species of butterflies and moths moths can be observed throughout the event.
  • 1,500 to 2,000 butterflies and moths at any one time in the Main Exhibition Greenhouse.
  • Between 15,000 and 20,000 butterflies and moths are released throughout the event.


Our hours

Tuesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Also open on Monday, February 29 (March Break) and March 28 (Easter)


Online tickets and program details:

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Contact our team

Karine Jalbert
Communications Co-ordinator
514 872-1453 / 514 250-3230

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