16 February 2007

Papilio anactus - Dainty Swallowtail

We have had many more insects this year than I have noticed for a long, long time. I think it is because the drought has decimated the bird population and so the insects flourish. Also the plants are stressed and so they are attacked more readily and show obvious signs of distress.
Some of these insects are chewing their way rather rapidly through my garden, but butterflies I don't mind.
My daughter discovered this attractive caterpillar eating the leaves of my Citrus hystrix or Kaffir Lime. It was identifed as the caterpillar stage of the Papilio anactus butterfly.

I brought it inside and fed it fresh leaves daily and in a week or so it duly turned into a chrysalis and then last weekend into this beautiful butterfly.
My mother-in-law counted twelve of these butteflies fluttering about while she was out admiring the garden.

Would you like to learn more about Australian butterflies? Well you can!

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