Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa Kershawi)

The female Australian Painted Lady is readily identified by the number and location of spots on the wings – four blue-centred black spots on the hind wing and a number of  white spots on black at the tip of the forward wing. A beautiful butterfly photographed on a Xanthorrhoea flower spike..

Along with the Common Brown butterflies, the Australian Painted Lady butterflies are plentiful at the moment.  I’ve photographed this one on a 1.5 m high  Xanthorrhoea (grass tree) flower spike. These flowers are a magnet for butterflies and honeyeaters.

According to the field guide I am using, ‘Butterflies: Identification and life history‘ by Ross P. Field, the Australian Painted Lady butterfly has adapted well to some of the introduced weed species and the larva eat Capeweed, Scotch Thistle and Common Cudweed along with native plants such as the Everlasting group of daisies, particularly the Golden Everlasting.  Apparently these butterflies have short lives as Field indicates that several generations occur each year.



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