HELICONIINAE, NYMPHALIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Specimen courtesy: Butterfly House, Coffs Harbour)
The eggs of this species are laid in a sparsely on the stem or tendril of a foodplant. They are barrel-shaped and ribbed, varying from off-white to brown. They have a height of about 1.5 mm.
The Caterpillar is cylindrical, and black with white patches on the sides of each segment. It has pairs of black and white tentacles on each segment. It feeds on various Australian native Passion vines ( PASSIFLORACEAE ) including :
The Caterpillar grows to a length of about 4 cms.
The pupa is green or brown, with silvery spots, and has 3 pairs of wing like extensions. It hangs by a silk cremaster from a stem of the foodplant, and has a length of about 3 cms.
The adult male is orange with a black pattern of lines and dots. There is a small eyespot on the rear of each hind wing. The underside is similar with white patches on the forewing.
The female is similar but a paler orange, and has a large black area along the margin of each fore wing containing a pattern of white spots and crescents. The butterflies have a wingspan up to 8 cms.
The species is found across south-east Asia to the south-west Pacific, including
and the subspecies ada (Butler, 1874) occurs in Australia in
The species is featured at the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House. Butterflies of this species may be purchased for release at weddings etc.
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 541-542.
Description de Papillons Exotiques,
Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), p. 100, figs B, C, and Plate 160, figs B, C.
(updated 23 May 2013, 24 April 2018)