Peter R. Samson & Stella Crossley
(Photo copyright: Peter Samson)
The eggs of this species are pale yellow, and spherical. They are laid singly on young shoots of a foodplant.
Initially this Caterpillar is rusty brown with white patches. Later the caterpillar becomes green with white markings. The thorax is humped. The prothorax and the final abdominal segment each have a pair of conical lumps.
The caterpillar feeds on various members of the RUTACEAE plant family including the Australian natives :
and the introduced :
When the caterpillars are disturbed, they are inclined to poke out a red forked osmeterium from behind the head, and produce a strong aromatic smell.
The pupa is green with a white line along each side. It is attached to a stem of the foodplant with cremaster and girdle. Depending on environmental conditions, the pupal period can be anything between two weeks and three years.
The adults have black wings, each with a wide white band. The hind wings also each have a row of red and of blue spots, and a blunt tail at the tornus. The butterflies have a wingspan of about 8 cms.
The species occurs as various controversial races across south-east Asia, including
and the tropical coastal areas of Australia including
Further reading :
Michael F. Braby,
"Butterflies of Australia",
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2000, vol. 1, pp. 271-273.
Johann August Ephraim Goeze,
Entomologische Beyträge zu des Ritter Linné zwölften Ausgabe des Natursystems,
Volume 3, Part 1 (1779), p. 87, No. 71.
Frank Jordan & Helen Schwencke,
Create More Butterflies : a guide to 48 butterflies and their host-plants
Earthling Enterprises, Brisbane, 2005, pp. 20, 65.
(updated 21 December 2009, 25 October 2013, 13 March 2015)