Friday, April 16, 2010

Butterflies at Franke Scrub

Our local butterflies are loving the last warm days of summer. They are outstanding at Franke Scrub, near Highfields, really making the point that the local native vegetation supports so many more of them than do our suburban gardens. You can find glasswings (Acraea andromacha) there, probably breeding on the little orange spade flower Hybanthus stellarioides.

Here’s a plant with butterfly eggs. Glasswings, perhaps?
(See February 27, 2009 for more on the spade flower)

This Australian Admiral (Vanessa itea) was sunning itself in the scrub this morning, very much at home there, where it’s host plant, the native nettle (Urtica incisa) grows.
(See October 9, 2008 for a lot of good reasons for growing nettles.)

And the Nysa jezabel Delias nysa is another butterfly rarely seen in home gardens - though you might miss is as it flies by. Its upper wings are plain white - a very sexy colour, as far as jezabels are concerned - with a rim of black. You need to see it settle to appreciate the beautiful underwings. Like all the jezabels, this one breeds on mistletoes, so appreciates what Franke scrub has to offer.

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