The Butterfly Man of Kuranda

Beetles in a case The Butterfly Man of Kuranda displays the wonderful array of Queensland’s beautiful butterflies, beetles and moths as part of the International Year of Biodiversity.

This exhibition showcases our spectacular and historic F.P. & A.P. Dodd Collection of Tropical Insects from Australia and New Guinea. The exhibition focuses on 28 beautifully-arranged showcases from 1917 through to the 1960s.

Things to see and do

  • Learn how Frederick Parkhurst Dodd became a collector.
  • Compare the different types of butterflies, moths and beetles on display.
  • Find out how insects avoid predators including by deception, camouflage, or mimicry.
  • Enjoy the visual beauty of the displays.
  • Discover a poem hidden in the exhibition.
  • Browse through the Museum Shop on your way out where you can buy an exhibition poster or copy of The Butterfly Man of Kuranda book reprinted for the exhibition.

About the collection

When Frederick Parkhurst Dodd was 21 he moved from Victoria to the remote Queensland frontier town of Townsville in 1884. He developed a fascination with the wonderful tropical insects of North Queensland and devoted his life to their study.

Settling in Kuranda, he developed a spectacular show collection of insects for public viewing. The collection toured nationally in 1918 and 1923. As a result of the successful tour Dodd became a national figure, known as 'The Butterfly Man of Kuranda'.

His son, Alan Dodd continued his father’s passion for collecting, and in the 1920s brought the Cactoblastis moth from South America to rid Australia of the scourge of prickly pear, an outstanding achievement rewarded by both MBE and OBE.

In his retirement Alan undertook several adventurous collecting trips to New Guinea and produced beautifully arranged cases that complement the older collection of his father.

Event Details

04 September 2010 - 13 February 2011

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