Once a caterpillar has battled its way out of its egg, it eats as much as it can. It changes its appearance, grows and metamorphoses in order to ultimately emerge from its chrysalis as a beautiful butterfly and fly through the air. We illustrate this remarkable stage of butterfly development using the example of our native swallowtail. The wormhole is primarily geared towards children.

Over the course of their lives, butterflies undergo a change known as complete metamorphosis. Beetles, flies and hymenoptera such as ants and bees also transform completely.

Using the example of a native butterfly, the swallowtail, this exhibition trails the attraction of transformation and displays the various stages of development of this fascinating animal. From egg to caterpillar, from caterpillar to pupa, and from chrysalis to butterfly: every butterfly goes through these stages. Depending on the type of butterfly, the individual phases of the process take different amounts of time.

The small exhibition is mainly designed for children. They are able to actively immerse themselves in the life story of a swallowtail, observing the stages of development, allocating the right nutrition to the caterpillar or recognising the scents of the plants they like to feed on. Original objects, expressive illustrations and entertaining ways of discovering and learning help the small room to have a big impact.

Project management

Jessica Baumgartner, Education & Mediation


EMYL GmbH, Basel

Lorenz Rieser, Lucerne

Graphics for exhibition texts
Schärer de Carli Design und Kommunikation, Basel

Montage texts
Arni Siebdruck, Basel

tweaklab, Basel

Lenders and donors
Werner Bohren (caterpillar specimens), courtesy of Roger Meissen, University of Missouri (audio file, eating noise of a caterpillar), Marc de Roche (pupa specimens)