DANAINAE, NYMPHALIDAE, PAPILIONOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Martin Purvis, Sydney, New South Wales)
These Caterpillars are grey with white transverse bands, a black head, and two yellow spots on the tail. The caterpillars also have two long filaments projecting from the thorax. They 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 adult butterflies are black with white spots on the forewings, and a large white patch on each hindwing. The undersieds are similar but have more white spots. They have a wingspan of about 4 cms.
The eggs are white and laid singly on a foodplant.
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)