Small Cabbage White Butterfly
Description: Small to medium butterfly. Creamy white with black tips to the forewings. Females have two black spots in the center of the forewings. Often mistaken for a moth.
Behaviour: Observed to have a erratic flight pattern when in suburban gardens. Larvae feed openly during the day and can regurgitate a poisonous fluid if threatened by predators.
Development: Females lay pale yellow eggs singularly on the leaves of host food plants (plants that contain mustard glycosideson, such as cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard, radish). Larvae start as a pale yellow but adopt a greenish hue after eating the leaves of the host plants .
Body Length: Wingspan 32-46 mm.
Diet: Larvae feed on cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard radish.
Habitat: Farms and gardens.
Notes: Introduced to Australia and first reported in Melbourne in 1929. By the end of the Second World War, the Small Cabbage White Butterfly was widespread across Australia.
Description: Large orange wings with black 'veins' and decorated with white dots decorating on the black outer edges of each wing.
Behaviour: Due to the chemicals found in milkweed and consumed by caterpillars, the Wanderer Butterfly is protected from birds and other predators. The bright colors of larva and adults is said to also function as 'warning colours'.
Development: Females lay only one egg on a milkweed leaf. Eggs hatch after four days.
Body Length: Wingspan 95mm.
Diet: Caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed. Adult butterflies the drink nectar from a variety of flowers.
Habitat: Open forests, farmlands and woodlands. Widespread.
Common Crow Butterfly
Description: Glossy black butterfly with prominent white marks along the outer margins of the wing.
Behaviour: Due to the chemicals found in the food plants, which are consumed in their caterpillar stage, the Common Crow Butterfly is protected from many predators by its inedibility. As a result it is commonly often seen. It often flies near shrubs and bushes in search of its host plants for mating and breeding purposes.
Development: Females can lay up to 20 eggs per season.
Body Length: Wingspan 70mm.
Diet: Native plants such as native figs, native hoyas and parsonsia, as well as a variety of introduced plants - such as the oleander.
Habitat: Open forests and woodlands. Widespread from northern to eastern Australia.
Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly
Description: Large black with white butterfly. Cream crescents and red spots on each wing. The female is larger and browner in colour.
Behaviour: Flight is slow and erratic. Wings are held open widely when settled.
Development: Eggs are smooth, spherical and greenish yellow to pale yellow. Females lay eggs on young shoots of food plants or close to margin in the underside of leaves. The eggs hatch within approximately one week.
Body Length: Wingspan Males: 120mm, Females: 140mm
Diet: Citrus trees.
Habitat: Woodlands, forests and urban areas of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.