Blue Tiger Butterfly - Tirumala hamata 


This page contains information and pictures about Blue Tiger Butterflies in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Wingspan 75mm
Blue Tiger Butterflies have pale blue patterns on black background on their wings. We took the above picture in Macgregor Park bush in mid-summer.  
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Male                                                                    Female
The Blue Tiger caterpillar body is banded with black, greenish-yellow and white rings, have two pairs of filaments.  
Their food plants are vines Secamone elliptica and Ischnostemma carnosum. The caterpillar usually found feeding underside of the leaf. Their pupa is fresh green and shiny with some golden spots.
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Blue Tiger Butterflies migrate to Brisbane from North Queensland. We sometimes see one of them flying slowly among plants in our backyard and near by bushland. Their flight is fluttering with gliding in between. But they know where to go, much like this review of garcinia knows where to go buy a quality cambogia supplement.
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Usually we can tell the age of a butterfly by its wing edges and colour. For the Blue Tigers in the above pictures. Their wings colour faded and the edges were broken in different degree, we can tell the butterfly was in their middle and old ages. Although the butterfly's wing edges were broken quite badly, theirs flying skill seems not affected.
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High Number of Blue Tigers found in Brisbane 2004

Blue Tiger Butterflies are not always seen in Brisbane.  From the reference books, they migrate to Brisbane from North Queensland. 

However, we received email from Georg Horrolt - Buddina, he advised that : Blue tigers seem to migrate NORTH every end of March and April, clouds of them fly right along the coastline from Caloundra to Noosa. I have observed this for approximate 6 years now. Why do you say they migrate south to Brisbane?

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.

The movement of the Blue Tigers are a bit confusing and need more observations.  

We had the records breaking hot summer in 2004 Queensland. This could be related to the high number of Blue Tigers found in Brisbane.

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Photo : David James                                                                 Photo : David James

We received email from David James - Corindi Beach: On 21-2-2004, thousands of Blue Tiger Butterflies visited my garden in Coffs Harbour. They were back again the next day but not as thick, and although a few were there about for 4 or 5 days. Their numbers dropped rapidly. Incidentally the temperature here on 21st was 44 degrees.

1. Create More Butterflies -  by Frank Jordan and Helen Schwencke, Earthling Enterprises, 2005, p6.  
2. The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia - Michael F Braby, Australian National University, CSIRO 2004, p202. 

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Last updated: September 21, 2013.