Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A butterfly day

Orange Palm Dart (f) Cephrenes augiades sperthias
Orange Palm Dart (m)
A perfect autumn day, cloudless sky, a light breeze and pleasant temperature make this arguably the best time of the year in our region. Today it was one for the butterflies that seemed to be making the most of the weather, depositing eggs on the plants that their larvae require. The most prevalent appeared to be the Common Jezabel,  catching your eye as they fluttered by, flashing white wings then black wings, from one mistletoe to the next, to lay their eggs on the new growth. There are not as many Orchard Butterflies, Wanderers and Lesser Wanderers now, but still a few sighted. A Blue Triangle and a Caper White put in brief hurried appearances whilst the Common Browns and Sword-grass Browns are still in residence. Yellow Migrants are here and very active barely touching down to deposit an egg, a flash of lemon flitting here and there making it hard to get a photo. Orange Palm Darts on the other hand are quite happy to spend some time just resting on the food plant (the palms in our garden) intended for their larvae (unfortunately they do a lot of damage to the palm leaves so there is a bit of culling required). At this time of year one of the visiting butterfly species is the Glasswing Acraea andromacha andromacha  which is the only Australian representative of this Genus (although there are many examples in Africa). They are found through northern Australia and down the east Coast but rarely as far as Melbourne. They are delightful to watch as they glide seemingly wafting along on the breeze, with the sun shining through their transparent forewings. At present they are searching out wild passionfruit plants to lay their eggs, also depositing some on the edible passionfruit plants, which is unfortunate as the larvae cannot feed on that species. All in all a great day for butterflies.

1 comment:

  1. Great Pictures :D
    thought you might like my machinima film the butterfly's tale~
    Bright Blessings
    elf ~