DANAINAE, NYMPHALIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)
These Caterpillars are initially brown with white transverse bands, a green head, two yellow spots on the tail, and two filaments projecting from the thorax.
Later instars become black with a black head, and develop yellow bases to the thoracic tentacles.
The caterpillars feed on the soft new shoots of vines from the plant family APOCYNACEAE, including :
Each caterpillar appears to be territorial, marking out its intended food leaf with regurgitated fluid before feeding on it. Any adjacent caterpillars are jostled away with rapid sideways head movements.
The pupa is a pale shiny green colour with black spots. It is suspended head downward from a cremaster usually from the underside of a leaf.
The pupa becomes black with a couple of yellow marks before eclosion.
The adult butterflies are black with white spots on the forewings, and a large white patch on each hindwing.
The undersides are similar but have more white spots. They have a wingspan of about 4 cms.
The eggs are white and spherical and covered in dimples. They are laid singly under a foodplant leaf.
The species is found as several races in
as well as in Australia in Queensland as the races
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 2, pp. 614-615.
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
Systema Entomologiae (1775), p. 480, No. 163.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 230.
(updated 16 September 2010, 12 December 2013, 9 December 2019, 28 June 2020, 3 September 2021)