A western beauty (56)
|Continuing my weekend in Capertee valley west of Sydney. |
The sun was getting low on the horizon and I was heading back to camp when I saw a butterfly I was unfamiliar with. I quickly followed it as it fortunately flew down the track, eventually alighting on a dead flower head; snap, snap then it was off, flying for another 100m before again alighting on another dead flower head and promptly closed its wings. Patiently I crept up and snapped this unknown beauty. Eventually I was satisfied with my shots and wondered if I could coax it into opening its wings. So I disturbed it and naturally, it took off never to be seen again. Oh well better go find out what I’d captured.
Afetr consulting Braby, I found it was a Chequered Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus), which much to my surprise he says is common!!, Well, I’ve never seen it before in all my 30 years of travel round the countryside. It has a wingspan of 75mm and is found in dry arid to semi arid woodland well away from the coastal zone through most of the continent. Within these regions it prefers to fly along creeklines and around wetlands. Food plants are grasses from the genus (Cullen sp.). Several generations annually.
In the workshop see a shot with the wins open.
A little more research prompted by Pankaj led me to discover it also has a wide distribution through the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, southern china, South-east Asia, New Guinea and the Soloman Islands.
Info: Braby, M.F. 2004 The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood Australia