The Caterpillar Lab
The Caterpillar Lab

The Caterpillar Lab

The Caterpillar Lab is moving in! Join us August 3-7 as The Caterpillar Lab sets up not just an exhibit, but a functioning caterpillar rearing, researching, photographing, filming and educating facility in our hallways. Each day during the week, you will be able to visit the lab-in-residence here, see live caterpillar displays, take part in innovative programing and witness how The Caterpillar Lab cares for and works with these amazing and surprising creatures.

During installation, The Caterpillar Lab will set up over-the-top, up-close and hands-on native caterpillar exploration experiences. Think you know what’s lurking in your own backyard? Think again! See many dozens of species showcased in open-air displays, including enormous giant silk moth caterpillars, fierce-looking snake-mimicking caterpillars, convincing twig-mimicking caterpillars and bizarre legless slug caterpillars. Witness rare moments of metamorphosis, ecological relationships and parasitism play out first-hand both at the display tables and under The Caterpillar Lab’s digital microscopes, or chat with one of their experts who are always on hand to enrich your experience.

The Caterpillar Lab’s in-residence exhibit is a casual drop-in experience. Stay for ten minutes or five hours. Photograph the caterpillars, discuss gardening for insects, observe countless species, open up cocoons with The Caterpillar Lab staff or just hold a really HUGE caterpillar—choose your own caterpillar adventure. There is something for everyone from young children to seasoned naturalists and professional biologists – if you are wondering if this exhibit is appropriate for you, the answer is YES!


Moth Lighting

with Sam Jaffe and The Caterpillar Lab
Friday, August 3
7:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Moth lighting—the practice of placing a bright light next to a white sheet, then observing what insects fly in—is sweeping the nation! This favorite pastime of biologists, once limited to entomology courses and research field trips, is becoming a favorite hobby worldwide for nature lovers, gardeners and the naturally curious. Events like National Moth Week and Mothapalooza are attracting more and more attention—and now CMBG is bringing a mothing event to you!

The Caterpillar Lab will be here to set up sheets with special ultra-moth-attracting lights and help identify the hundreds of species we expect to attract. Come be surprised by the diversity, size and beauty of Maine’s nocturnal insects. Bring your curiosity and be ready to become hooked on this popular pastime.

Be prepared—avoid bright clothing, wear long sleeves and pants, and bring a flashlight and insect repellant. This program is designed for both adults and their families and is appropriate for ages 10 and up.


Caterpillars: The Whole Story

with Sam Jaffe and The Caterpillar Lab
Saturday, August 4
1 – 2:30 p.m.

Sam Jaffe, Director of The Caterpillar Lab, will present a photograph- and video-packed talk exploring backyard pollinators, plants and the many caterpillars positioned at the center of it all. His “whole story” perspective of natural history study and appreciation might just make you reconsider an herbivore's place in the garden. The "whole story" is a celebration of caterpillars in all their incarnations—you may never look at an insect the same way again! Afterwards, stay to explore the rest of the Caterpillar Lab exhibit as well as our many gardens, all included in the price of your admission.
This program is designed for both and adults and families and is appropriate for ages 10 and up.


The Caterpillar Walk

with Sam Jaffe and The Caterpillar Lab
Sunday, August 5
1 – 2:30 p.m.

The Caterpillar Lab is moving in, and while the exhibit will be filled with munching critters offering lots to explore, the real story is the one happening in our many gardens where these creatures are living out their strange lives in the wild. Join Director of The Caterpillar Lab Sam Jaffe on an exploration of the Gardens, searching for native caterpillars and other insects. Learn how The Caterpillar Lab finds their caterpillars, all about host plants and parasitoids and get caterpillar-finding secrets from one of the foremost caterpillar hunters in the world! This walk is appropriate for naturalists, gardeners and explorers of all ages. However, it may not be appropriate for more casually interested younger children.