Peter Samson & Stella Crossley
(Photo: courtesy of Jessica May, Cairns)
This Caterpillar is covered in tubercles, and is mottled with dark brown and white.
It feeds on various species of the genus Aristolochia ( family: ARISTOLOCHIACEAE ), including :
Eggs are yellow, spherical,and ribbed, with a diameter of about 0.5 mm. They are laid on a foodplant, and also sadly on the introduced
but larvae feeding on the leaves of this plant do not survive. Curiously, they can survive if they feed only on its flowers!
The pupa is brown with white markings. It has a length of about 2.5 cms.
The forewings of the male adult butterflies have transparent wings, except for black veins, two black spots, and a black area around the base. The females have a brown veins, and one black spot and one vague brown spot on each forewing.
The hindwings are black with a white band across each one. Both sexes have one red spot on top, and an arc of red spots underneath. In this way, this species mimics other Australian Swallowtails. The wingspan is up to 8 cms.
Initially the forewings are white, but the scales are very loose, and soon fall off leaving the wings transparent. The body is black except for a red tip to the abdomen.
Various races of this species have been recognised in
and in Australia in:
( Australia Post, 1997)
( Australia Post, 1981)
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
Butterflies of Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 277-278.
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Historiae Naturalis Fautoribus,
1774, p. 448, No. 24.
Frank Jordan & Helen Schwencke,
Create More Butterflies : a guide to 48 butterflies and their host-plants
Earthling Enterprises, Brisbane, 2005, pp. 13, 58, 61.
Wesley Jenkinson & John T. Moss,
Life history, distribution & behavioural notes on the Clearwing Swallowtail, Cressida cressida (Fabricius, 1775) Lepidoptera: Papilionidae,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
Issue 91 (December 2018), pp. 1, 4-8.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 223.
(updated 24 May 2010, 16 September 2023)