(one synonym is : Acraea violae Fabricius, 1775)
HELICONIINAE , NYMPHALIDAE , PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Robert Whyte, Bush Blitz)
These Caterpillars have been found feeding on various plants, including :
The caterpillars are brown, with branched black spines arising from rows of black spots along the body. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 3 cms.
The pupa is cream, with striking black markings, and rows of black outlined orange spots along the abdomen. It has two blunt horns on its head. It hangs head downward by a silk cremaster from the foodplant. It has a length of about 2 cms.
The wings of the adult butterflies are orange, with black spots. The hindwings additionally have a black border containing white spots. The undersides are similar to the upper surfaces. The males are more deeply coloured than the females. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 5 cms.
Initially the species was found only in
Recently the species appears to be following the south-eastward expansion of its foodplants. It has been estimated that it was moving about 200 Km per year across south-east Asia, successively into
In 2012 it was found breeding in Australia, in:
Further reading :
A new immigrant butterfly for Australia,
Issue 70 (September 2013), pp. 1, 4-6,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
Volume 1, Edition 10 (1760), Class 5, Part 3, p. 466, No. 45.
D.C. Franklin, S.C. Morrison, and G. Wilson,
A colourful new Australian reaches Talaroo: The Tawny Coster, Acraea terpsicore,
North Queensland Naturalist,
Volume 47 (2017), pp. 10-13.
(written 20 December 2013, updated 16 April 2017)