Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Caper White Butterflies

White Butterflies have been "capering" around Robertson recently.
Have you noticed recently that Robertson has been invaded by whitish-yellow Butterflies? I first saw them come in a few weeks ago, when we were having a spell of warm weather, with warm north-westerly winds. (Anni - do you remember having had warm weather?)

I was down at my favourite meditation spot - the little lookout off Lees Road ( off Jamberoo Mountain Road), about 4 Km from the Pie Shop corner. This wonderful lookout overlooks the escarpment, and the valley of the Macquarie Rivulet. You face north-east, and look over Albion Park, to Wollongong. Immediately below you is a beautiful serpentine patch of lush green rainforest, and further out, the forest reverts to the more usual grey-green of the dominant Eucalypt forest.

Anyway, as the warm winds were swirling around me, I noticed hundreds of these white butterflies, with yellowish coloured underwings. They are clearly different from the introduced pest the Cabbage White Butterfly. They are called the Caper White Butterfly (Belenois java).
As the "Fact sheet" from the Australian museum will tell you, they come from warmer places, where they feed on native Caper trees, members of the Capparis family. As that site tells you: "it regularly migrates to areas where there are no food plants for its caterpillars. It is not understood why this behaviour has evolved."

Another of life's little mysteries, or perhaps, (as with the Waratahs of yesterday's bulletin) another instance where the supposed "Intelligent Designer" went to sleep on the job?

4 comments:

ah said...

Yes, I think there was one, stinking hot afternoon. Seems like a dream now.
But I haven't seen any butterflies and that is because mostly it has been pissing down and I haven't left the house.
We have a leak in the bathroom ceiling. Andy called someone about it and it turns out everybody else's roofs are leaking.
Mind you, I am not complaining as much as finding it quite incredible. So much water!

Denis Wilson said...

Anni, I see that "pissing down" is a weather category which you left off your own description of the weather - on your Blog. It is the favourite term for what has been happening this week, though, from the number of times people have used that same expression whenever I ring up. Unofficial, but descriptive terminology.

Anonymous said...

You must have a double [now that's a scarey thought] as I thought I saw you in Canberra looking at the beauties there.

Denis Wilson said...

What, a "doppelganger"*? Generally scary, in my case really bad news.

*A ghostly double or counterpart of a living person. Literally a "double walker".

I was indeed in Canberra, briefly, though I deny any "wandering eye" suggestions that I was there looking at beauties -the Peony season has finished! :-)

Denis