Naturally we hit up a conversation, and shared some tips about what to see, where. Orchids, mostly, but also other things too. It's nice to share ideas and experiences.
Anyway, my colleague has sharper eyes than I do, and she spotted this wonderful Butterfly. Chequered Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus)
|Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly|
It was remarkably tame, and allowed us to take many photographs.
Don Herbison-Evans comments: "Usually seen rapidly flying in one direction at a constant height, they only occasionally land, and catching one is a real thrill." So I consider myself lucky to get so close to this one.
|Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly - a lovely creature|
|Abdomen of the Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly|
Here one can see something of the underside of the Butterfly's wings.
It was a large Butterfly, and it is related to the familiar Orchard Butterfly.
That ought give you some sense of the size.
|Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly - underwings|
Then when I returned home, I received an email from another friend and Orchid colleague, Kirsten, who had been to the Brindabella Ranges (beyond Canberra) last weekend. She had found the same Butterfly as I had just photographed.
Clearly, there is a seasonal factor which produced the result that two separate observers, several hundred kilometres apart, were able to approach this normally unapproachable Butterfly. The Butterflies do not read Don Herbison-Evans' website.
|Kirsten's photo of the Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly|
This image by Kirsten shows the
diagnostic "eye spot" which is yellow and blue.
The Chew Family describes it as a "peacock eye mark" on the underwing.
|Kirsten's Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly on a Thistle plant.|
I am not sure if it is introduced, or native with a wide distribution. Looks like it is naturally occurring, especially as Kirsten found it in the Brindabellas, and I found it in Kangaloon on native grass. There are few introduced Butterflies expected in either locality.