Danaus affinis (Fabricius, 1775)
Black & White Tiger
(one synonym: Salatura nigrita Moore, 1883)
DANAINAE ,   NYMPHALIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Danaus affinis
(Photo: courtesy of David Johnston, Queensland)

The Caterpillars of this species are dark blue, with white and yellow spots and bands. They have three pairs of filaments on their back.

Danaus affinis
(dried and blown specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

They feed on various poisonous climbers growing on the margins of swamps and creeks in the plant family APOCYNACEAE, including

  • Selangor Milkweed ( Ischnostemma selangorica ), and
  • Mangrove Milkweed ( Cynanchum carnosum ).

    Danaus affinis
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The pupa is green or brown with a gold ring around its widest part, and hangs from a stem of a reed supporting the foodplant.

    Danaus affinis
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jink, North Burnett)

    The upper sides of the wings of the adult butterflies are black and white.

    Danaus affinis
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The undersides are similar, except that the hind wings also have orange markings. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 6 cms. The butterflies are very fussy where they obtain nectar. They are especially fond of

  • Sea Oxeye ( Wedelia biflora, ASTERACEAE ).

    Danaus affinis
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The eggs are pale yellow and bullet shaped. They are laid singly on a foodpant.

    This is a coastal species, found over south-east Asia, including

  • Indonesia,
  • Philippines,
  • Thailand,

    and in Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • the coastal areas of Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Michael F. Braby,
    Butterflies of Australia,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 596-597.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1775, p. 511, No. 291.


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    (updated 30 March 2009, 30 November 2013, 4 March 2015)