Saturday, 8 December 2012


I have been a little distracted from the bear making of late, I have been trying to re arrange furniture and generally "Summer clean " (I missed Spring entirely) the house before Christmas as well as trying to get a couple of presents finished. 

While I was looking out the back door (hoping house cleaning fairy  help was about to drop from the sky ;) I noticed these gorgeous butterflies had come to visit our Bougainvillea that climbing all over our water tank.
There were two of them flying around , there was also a third larger butterfly that wasn't as brightly coloured as this one and I didn't take her photo, which was a shame as I later found out she was the female of the species.

The two males seemed more interested in following each other than her though.

I thought they looked familiar so after a bit of research (thank you Google) I found out they are Richmond Birdwing Butterflies which are sadly quite rare and endangered. 
The little caterpillars can only eat two types of vines which are also quite rare and the females are being fooled by a pest species of plant (Dutchmans Pipe) into thinking they have found the right plant to lay eggs on, and then the offspring have nothing to eat when they hatch :( 
Apparently, the males only travel up to three kilometers from where they hatch so there must be some of the right plant reasonably close by. Meanwhile the poor girls can travel an area of up to 30ish kms to find a mate and a plant.

Typical, not only are the females less pretty, they have to do more work  *grin*

I am quite keen to source some of these special plants from a Nursery now so if these lovely butterflies drop by again we might be able to encourage them to stay.
Sadly, there was no sign of the housework fairy.......

No comments:

Post a Comment