- Crow Caterpillar, grow up to 50mm
- Butterflies in this subfamily are fairly large in size. Most of them are
marked with vary shades of brown, black and white. Some are with blue or
yellow colours. The males of many have prominent sex marks at the middle of
hindwings. Their flight is not rapid but rather steady. Most of them able to
fly long distance and some are migration species. They do not have tails on
- Caterpillars in this subfamily feed on different kind of Milkweed plants
The Milkweed is poisonous but the caterpillar can tolerate this poison and
store in their body, so both the caterpillar and adult butterfly are
poisonous and distasteful. Birds and other vertebrate predators will avoid
- Caterpillars in this subfamily have 2 or more long dorsal filaments. They
are usually banded with bright warning colour usually black, yellow and
- Pupa are attached by tail to a small pad of silk, or cremaster, from which
they hang their head downwards. The pupa body is smooth with brilliant
- Common Australian Crow
- Euploea core corinna, ,wingspan 90mm
- This is the most common butterfly in Brisbane. We see them
everyday, everywhere and even in the city, during the summer season. We
can easily see them here in winter. They are
shiny black in colour with scattered white marks on their wings. Male and
female look similar except male has the narrow opaque make on the
forewing. Their caterpillars have black and white stripes on their bodies.
The pupa is a metallic dark silver colour. More information in the Australian
- Purple Crow
- Euploea tulliolus, wingspan 65mm
- This butterfly also called Eastern Brown Crow or Dwarf Crow.
This butterfly is brownish black in colour, with white spots jointed to
form white bands on edges of forewings. It becomes brightly purple under
sunlight. We can easily find them in Mt-Gravett
bush land during summer. Please also check this page
for more information.
- Lesser Wanderer
- Danaus petilia (was D. chrysippus petilia), wingspan 60mm, Caterpillar length up to 50mm
- This is a medium size butterfly. They are sometimes seen flying solely
across the bushes on a sunny day. They look similar to Wanderer Butterfly,
with orange colour wings and dark edge, but they also have larger white
pattern on their forewings. Their larva are also feed on milkweeds so they
are not 'tasty'. More information and pictures here.
- Swamp Tiger, Black and White Tiger
- Danaus affinis, wingspan 50mm
- In a cool sunny winter day, we visited Bayside Parkland in Ransome
the first time. Not much insects can be found. This Swamp Tiger Butterfly is
the only large insect we saw. Still very happy. Check this page
for more information.
- Wanderer or Monarch Butterfly
- Danaus plexippus, wingspan 90mm
- The Wanderer is a large black and orange
butterfly with a wingspan of 100mm. Some consider it as the most beautiful
insect in the world. Notice that there is the ‘sex mark’ on the hind-wing of
this male Wanderer. The female looks almost the same except there is no sex mark
and the black veins are slightly broader. We have recorded the life cycle of
this butterfly, details please click here.
- Blue Tiger
- Tirumala hamata, wingspan 75mm
- Blue Tiger Butterflies are not always seen in Brisbane. They
migrate to Brisbane from North Queensland. They have pale blue patterns on
black background on their wings. We took the above
pictures in Macgregor Park bush in mid-summer. In Brisbane 2004 summer, the
number of Blue Tiger is exceptionally high. From mid summer to late summer
we can see plenty of them in the bush, flying along the highway and across
our backyard. They were flying from west to the east. More pictures and information
please click here.
- 1. Insects
of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University
Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p897.
- 2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus
& Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p461.
- 3. Butterflies of Australia and New Guinea - Barrett,
Charles and A. N. Burns, Melbourne, N. H. Seward, 1951, p69.
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