30 Butterfly Species in Queensland

Get ready to embark on a journey exploring the diverse world of butterflies in Queensland, Australia.

In this article, you’ll discover 30 distinct butterfly species, each with its own unique characteristics and habitat.

From the vibrant Cairns Birdwing to the elusive Bright-eyed Brown, this guide provides a close-up look into the colourful life of these beautiful creatures.

Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion)

One of Queensland’s most stunning butterfly species, the Cairns Birdwing holds a certain charm.

Cairns Birdwing butterfly

Found bustling about in the local rainforests, beach forests, and human gardens, it’s absolutely a sight to behold.

  • Habitat: Its natural territories include rainforests and beach forests, but it also frequents human gardens.
  • Appearance: Males sport a vivid combination of green and black, while females are adorned with golden and white hues.
  • Size: The wingspan typically oscillates between 4.7-5.9 inches (12-15 cm) for males and reaches up to 7.5 inches (19 cm) for females.
  • Diet: Mostly, they feed on nectar from flowering plants.
  • Reproduction: Males are known for their elaborate courtship displays.
  • Lifespan: Adults live for approximately 4-5 weeks.
  • Host Plants: Many, like the native Pipevine (Aristolochia tagala), serve as host plants for the species’ larvae.

Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio ulysses)

Beloved for its vibrant blue wings, the Ulysses butterfly is a quintessential symbol of Queensland’s tropical rainforests. This unique species is admired by people the world over for its distinctive attributes.

Ulysses Butterfly

Here are some key facts about the Ulysses butterfly:

  • Habitat: Favors Queensland’s tropical rainforests, also found in isolated pockets along the state’s eastern coast.
  • Appearance: Boasts a notable dichromatic pattern with intense blue on the top of the wings and a more discrete black and white coloration beneath.
  • Size: Has a large wingspan, measuring 5.5 inches (about 14 centimeters).
  • Diet: Primarily feeds on the nectar of various flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on select ‘host plants’ which serve as the primary food source for the emerging caterpillars.
  • Lifespan: Typically lives for around 2 to 3 weeks in the wild.
  • Host Plants: Favors plants from the Meliaceae family, particularly Eurabia and Melia species.

With these remarkable traits, it’s clear why the Ulysses butterfly is a favorite among nature lovers.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Arguably the most recognized butterfly, the Monarch, possesses a unique charm that is hard to ignore.

Also known as the Milkweed butterfly, due to its reliance on the milkweed flower, this species boasts a spectrum of vibrant hues.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

  • Habitat: The Monarch is a migratory creature. You’ll often find them in open areas such as fields and meadows.
  • Appearance: They are renowned for their stunning orange and black wings, adorned with white spots.
  • Size: They can span 3.7 to 4.1 inches (about 9.5-10.5 cm) in width.
  • Diet: Nectar from a variety of flowering plants, but Milkweeds are their favourite.
  • Reproduction: After mating, females lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves.
  • Lifespan: Most Monarchs live for only a few weeks, but the ‘Methuselah generation’ can live for up to 8 months.
  • Host Plants: Primarily milkweeds, serving as a food source for larvae and a roosting spot for adults.

Common Crow (Euploea core)

The Common Crow, or Euploea core, is a remarkable species of butterfly that calls Queensland home.

Common Crow butterfly

Its natural habitats are widespread across the region, showcasing its adaptability.

  • Habitat: Found in a wide range of environments including jungle, city gardens, and beach forests.
  • Appearance: Dark brown or black with scattered white spots on the wings, and a body outlined in white.
  • Size: This butterfly is relatively large, with a wingspan measuring up to 3.5 inches (8.9cm).
  • Diet: The Common Crow is a nectar feeder, primarily drawn to flowers like lantana.
  • Reproduction: Often mates in autumn and spring. Females will generally lay their eggs on the leaves of their chosen host plant.
  • Lifespan: Like most butterfly species, the Common Crow lives around 4-6 weeks, with much of this time used for mating and reproduction.
  • Host Plants: Commonly found on Oleander, Pongam, and Natal Plum plants.

Now that you’ve learned about the Common Crow, let’s move on to yet another fascinating butterfly species that can be found in Queensland.

Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi)

Among the 30 butterfly species in Queensland, the Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi) is a colourful addition to the landscape.

This species is one of Australia’s most widespread butterflies, with habitat ranging from urban areas to forests to arid scrubland.

Australian Painted Lady Butterfly

Light brown and orange, with dark, eye-like markings on the wings, this species adds a splash of color to its surroundings.

  • Habitat: Urban areas, open forests, arid scrubland
  • Appearance: Brownish-orange wings with black, white, and blue patches; underside is textured and subtly colored
  • Size: Wingspan of approximately 1.9 – 2.3 inches (4.8 – 5.8 cm)
  • Diet: Caterpillars feed on nectar from various plant species; adult butterflies feed on nectar from flowers
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs on host plants; caterpillars transform into butterflies through the process of metamorphosis
  • Lifespan: 2 – 4 weeks in Summer; up to 9 months over winter
  • Host Plants: Native Australian plants like Daisies and Everlastings

Observe your local parks and gardens, and you might be lucky enough to spot this beautiful creature.

Cruiser (Vindula arsinoe)

The Cruiser (Vindula arsinoe), also known as the Cruiser Butterfly, is a striking and unique species found in Northern Queensland and New Guinea.

Cruiser butterfly

It earns its name from its distinct cruising flight pattern.

  • Habitat: They are predominantly observed in rainforest settings and coastal mangrove communities.
  • Appearance: The male Cruiser boasts a vibrant orange colour contrasted by black borders, while the female sports a more muted brown hue.
  • Size: The wingspan lies between 3.1 to 3.5 inches (80-90mm).
  • Diet: Adult Cruisers feast primarily on nectar from a variety of flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females lay pale green eggs on the underside of the host plants.
  • Lifespan: The average life span is around 4 to 5 weeks.
  • Host Plants: The Passiflora (Passion vines) serve as the primary host plant for Cruiser caterpillars.

Capaneus Butterfly (Papilio fuscus capaneus)

The Capaneus Butterfly, also known as the Yellow Emperor, is a fascinating Queensland resident.

Capaneus Butterfly

  • Habitat: Typically found in the tropics, particularly in rainforests and woody landscapes.
  • Appearance: They’re primarily brownish-black, with a stunning pattern of yellow or cream spots. The wingtips have a subtle blue touch. Males tend to be more vibrant than females.
  • Size: These butterflies measure between 65-75mm, making them one of the larger species.
  • Diet: Adult butterflies partake in nectar drinking, they have an extended proboscis suitable for deep flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females lay small clusters of eggs on the undersides of leaves. Larvae are initially pale with darker heads but darken as they mature.
  • Lifespan: Capaneus Butterfly have a brief adult lifespan of about 2 weeks.
  • Host Plants: Several plants serve as hosts for their larvae, including Albizia, Acacia species, and Inga donnell-smithii.

Despite their relatively short adult lifespan, the Capaneus Butterfly plays a crucial role in pollination within Queensland’s ecosystems.

Common Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina)

The irrefutable charm of the Common Eggfly butterfly is quite captivating. This species is known for its striking, stark contrast of colours.

Common Eggfly butterfly

  • Habitat: You can often find them in lush garden spaces, parks, and woodland areas throughout Queensland.
  • Appearance: The male Eggfly displays a gleaming blue sheen on a black base, marked with three white spots in a triangular positioning. The females, on the other hand, wear a mosaic of brown and cream.
  • Size: Larger than your average butterfly, they boast a wingspan of 3.14” (80mm).
  • Diet: Nectar enthusiasts, they will hover from flower to flower throughout the day.
  • Reproduction: Sexual dimorphism is prominent. Females tend to choose green leaves on the highest branches as their egg-laying sites.
  • Lifespan: Typically, they live up to 7-8 weeks, experiencing a full metamorphosis cycle.
  • Host Plants: Favourites include members of the Acanthaceae family, like the Ruellia and Asystasia species.

Surely you’ll fall under the Common Eggfly’s mesmerizing allure upon sighting one.

Australian Rustic (Cupha prosope)

The Australian Rustic is a fascinating butterfly species that you can observe in Queensland. As much as it’s stunning, it’s equally interesting.

Australian Rustic butterfly

Let’s dive into some details about this captivating creature:

  • Habitat: Primarily found in forested areas, rainforests and in nearby towns.
  • Appearance: They have a brownish base color with a series of white spots and dots arranged in beautiful patterns on their wings.
  • Size: Typically they measure about 2 – 2.4 inches (approximately 50 – 60mm) in wingspan.
  • Diet: Adults nourish on nectar from various plants while the caterpillars feed on leaves.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs singly on the host plants.
  • Lifespan: An adult Australian Rustic lives for around 2 – 3 weeks.
  • Host Plants: Larvae feed majorly on plants from the Apocynaceae family, such as Alstonia, Parsonsia, and Echites species.

Knowing these specifics, your butterfly-watching experience will surely be enriched.

Green Spotted Triangle (Graphium agamemnon)

The Green Spotted Triangle, or Graphium agamemnon, is a fascinating butterfly species.

Green Triangle (Graphium agamemnon) Butterfly

  • Habitat: It’s predominantly found in tropical and subtropical forests, woodlands, and urban gardens.
  • Appearance: As the name suggests, it has a beautiful green and black pattern, with striking green spots against a dark background.
  • Size: Its wingspan ranges from 8-12 cm (3.5-5 in), making it one of the larger species.
  • Diet: Adults usually feed on nectar from a variety of plants.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs on the leaves of host plants; the caterpillars then feed on these leaves.
  • Lifespan: Its lifespan, from egg to adult, can extend up to 6 weeks.
  • Host Plants: Host plants include species of Cinnamomum and Litsaea. This butterfly is quite a sight to behold when fluttering in the vibrant Queensland sun, with its stunning green spots reflecting an iridescent sheen. Truly a green gem of nature.

Pale Triangle (Graphium eurypylus)

The Pale Triangle, or Graphium eurypylus, is a uniquely attractive species of butterfly that you’re likely to encounter in Queensland.

Pale triangle butterfly_Tondoon_10112016

Known for its magnificent, distinctive wing patterns, it adds an exotic dash of color to the Australian scenery.

  • Habitat: Dense forests, and occasionally urban gardens.
  • Appearance: Predominantly black with patches of green and pale white, forming a triangle-like shape on the top of the wings.
  • Size: 60-75mm wing span in mature butterflies.
  • Diet: The adults mainly feed on nectar from a variety of flowering plants, while caterpillars consume leaves from the laurel family.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs on the underside of the host plant’s leaves, which takes about 3 days to hatch.
  • Lifespan: On average, the lifespan is about 2-3 weeks for adults.
  • Host Plants: Species from the laurel family (Lauraceae), including camphor, sassafras, and avocado trees.

Chequered Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus)

The Chequered Swallowtail, scientifically known as Papilio demoleus, holds a unique spot among the captivating butterfly species found in Queensland.

Chequered Swallowtail butterfly

  • Habitat: Thriving primarily in open forests and urban areas.
  • Appearance: Renowned for its striking coloration, comprising of a black base with bold yellow spots.
  • Size: A wing expansion averaging 3.1 inches (8 cm) depicts its mid-size stature.
  • Diet: Prefers nectar from a broad spectrum of flowers, illustrating its eclectic dietary preferences.
  • Reproduction: Females lay single, spherical eggs on new leaves and stems.
  • Lifespan: Generally unspecified, although most butterflies in its family survive for around a month.
  • Host Plants: Favors citrus trees. This defoliation habit sometimes earns it the status of a ‘pest’ in commercial citrus orchards.

Through this, you can appreciate how the Chequered Swallowtail positively contributes to Queensland’s diverse butterfly population.

Lesser Wanderer (Danaus petilia)

The Lesser Wanderer is known as Danaus petilia scientifically. You will be impressed by its distinctive markings, prominent among Queensland’s diverse butterfly species.

Lesser Wanderer butterfly

  • Habitat: They have a predilection for open and wooded grasslands.
  • Appearance: They stand out with their orange-brown wings adorned with a network of black veins and white spotted edges.
  • Size: Lesser Wanderers usually measure 2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm) in wingspan.
  • Diet: Adults prefer nectar from various plant species.
  • Reproduction: The females lay their spherical, cream-coloured eggs on the underside of leaves.
  • Lifespan: Their lifecycle consists of four stages – egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult, typically lasting a few weeks.
  • Host Plants: Milkweeds or Asclepias are their preferred host plants.

Though less flashy than some counterparts, the Lesser Wanderer is an integral part of Queensland’s rich butterfly species.

Blue Argus (Junonia orithya)

Welcome to the world of the Blue Argus, also known as Junonia orithya. This species is both vibrant and significant.

Blue Argus butterfly


  • Habitat: These butterflies thrive in sunny open areas, such as beaches and gardens, often seen in Northern and Eastern Australia.
  • Appearance: Blue Argus is a sight to behold, with striking blue and black eyespots against a brownish-grey canvas.
  • Size: This species is moderately sized, typically averaging about 2 inches or 50 millimeters in wingspan.
  • Diet: On their menu are various flowering plants’ nectar, and as caterpillars, they feast on the leaves of the plant species they inhabit.
  • Reproduction: Female Blue Argus disperses their eggs on the under surfaces of host plants.
  • Lifespan: The lifespan of this species varies, averaging from 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Host Plants: The young ones (caterpillars) nibble on plants like the blue tongue (Melastoma affine) and the black coffee bush (Breynia oblongifolia).

Enjoy these fluttering beauties when you come across them but remember they have a rather short lifespan, so each encounter is special.

Blue Tiger (Tirumala hamata)

The Blue Tiger butterfly is a wonderful specimen adorning Queensland with its vibrant colours.

Blue Tiger Butterfly

Here’s what you need to know about this fascinating species:

  • Habitat: They’re mainly found coasting along Eastern and Northern Australia; they tend to love the tropical areas.
  • Appearance: You’ll recognize them by their bright blue, white, and black spotted wings, and their black antenna.
  • Size: It’s hard to miss them; they boast a wingspan of about 2.95 inches (7.5 cm).
  • Diet: Nectar from various flower species keeps them well nourished.
  • Reproduction: Females lay hundreds of eggs on the underside of their fave host plants.
  • Lifespan: Remarkably, they live for a substantial 6 months; way above average in butterfly life expectancy.
  • Host Plants: Aristolochia vines are their plant of choice; a good place to lay eggs.

The Blue Tiger butterfly truly is a living work of art. Their colorful appearance brings joy to many Queensland residents and visitors alike.

Orchard Swallowtail (Papilio aegeus)

The Orchard Swallowtail is a staple in Queensland, an essential part of its natural diversity. With a deeply contrasting colour palette, it’s impossible to miss this butterfly.

Orchard Swallowtail butterfly

  • Habitat: This butterfly is commonly found in urban gardens and rainforests across Queensland.
  • Appearance: They have black wings with white lines. Males have blue and red spots on their hindwings, females have crescent-shaped blue spots.
  • Size: Adults range from 5.5 to 6.2 inches (139-157 mm), making them one of the larger Queensland butterflies.
  • Diet: The larvae feed primarily on citrus trees and the adults feed on the nectar of a variety of flowering plants.
  • Reproduction: After mating, females deposit round, cream-coloured eggs on the leaves of host plants.
  • Lifespan: The life cycle from egg to adult spans around 6 weeks.
  • Host Plants: The caterpillars love to eat the leaves of citrus plants found in orchards, hence their name ‘Orchard Swallowtail’.

Tailed Emperor (Polyura sempronius)

The Tailed Emperor, scientifically known as Polyura sempronius, is one of Queensland’s most recognizable butterfly species.

Tailed Emperor butterfly

  • Habitat: Used to be found in eucalyptus woodlands and open forests, now spotted in local parks and gardens.
  • Appearance: Lavish black and white wings with a splendid touch of blue crescents and eye-spots. It gets its name from its striking tail-like appendages.
  • Size: Has a wingspan that ranges from 6 to 7.5 cm (2.4 to 3 in).
  • Diet: Feeds on nectar from various types of flowers, with eucalyptus being a preferred choice.
  • Reproduction: Lays a cluster of eggs on the host plant, which hatch into colorful larvae.
  • Lifespan: Flutters around in its adult phase for about a month.
  • Host Plants: Main host plant is wattles (Acacia species), with larvae feeding voraciously.

This unique butterfly is symbolic of the wild beauty that can be found around us, even in urban landscapes.

Blue Banded Eggfly (Hypolimnas alimena)

Blue Banded Eggflies dwell in various environments. They are often found in rainforests, city parks, and gardens.

Blue-banded Eggfly Butterfly (Hypolimnas alimena)

  • Habitat: You may find them in a wide range of areas, from rainforests to urban parks.
  • Appearance: They feature a stunning blue band on their wings. Males boast darker, more vibrant colors while females are lighter.
  • Size: They aren’t large, approximately 2.4–3 inches (6-7.5 cm).
  • Diet: They majorly feast on the nectar of various flowers. Caterpillars munch on leaves of certain plants.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs on host plants. Caterpillars emerge and start the metamorphosis journey.
  • Lifespan: The adult butterfly can live from 2 to 4 weeks. The egg, caterpillar, and pupal stages take another few weeks.
  • Host Plants: Preferentially, they use members of the Acanthaceae and Lamiaceae family for laying eggs and feeding the caterpillars.

With such wonder, it’s clear to see why the Blue Banded Eggfly is a precious gem in Queensland’s diverse butterfly population.

Meadow Argus (Junonia villida)

The Meadow Argus, a distinctive Australian species, is a charming addition to the butterfly diversity in Queensland.

Meadow Argus butterfly

  • Habitat: It is a highly adaptable creature, residing in a broad range of environments including urban gardens and parks, forests, and grasslands.
  • Appearance: They are characterized by their brownish-orange wings which display a series of eye-like marks and splotches.
  • Size: Adult Meadow Argus butterflies have an average wingspan that ranges from around 2 to 2.5 inches (50-65mm).
  • Diet: As caterpillars, they primarily feed on plants whilst adult butterflies nectar from a wide variety of flowering plants.
  • Reproduction: Females lay their eggs on the leaves of a host plant where, after hatching, the caterpillars feast before pupating.
  • Lifespan: The typical lifespan of a Meadow Argus ranges from two to four weeks in the wild.
  • Host Plants: Some of their preferred host plants include species of the Goodenia and Scaevola genus, among others.

Revel in the joy of spotting this striking creature during your Queensland explorations.

Common Albatross (Appias paulina)

The Common Albatross is a white to creamy colored butterfly species found in Queensland.

Common Albatross butterfly

Let’s dive into some details:

  • Habitat: This creature prefers open woodlands and forest edges, thus can be easily spotted in urban parks and gardens.
  • Appearance: Sporting a milky white or creamy color, the wings possess black edges with frosty blue specks, giving it a mesmerising look.
  • Size: It tends to vary between sexes, males can reach up to 2.2 inches (5.5 cm) while females can extent up to 2.6 inches (6.6 cm).
  • Diet: As adults, they are known to feed on nectar from a variety of plants.
  • Reproduction: The female leaves whitish eggs on the host plants.
  • Lifespan: They enjoy a brief life, averaging only 7 to 10 days.
  • Host Plants: They favour plants from the family Capparaceae, especially caper bushes.

Dingy Swallowtail (Papilio anactus)

The Dingy Swallowtail, scientifically known as ‘Papilio anactus’ is quite an intriguing butterfly species.

Dingy Swallowtail

  • Habitat: Preferring warmer climates, you’ll find it in various parts of Queensland.
  • Appearance: A sight to behold, it has black wings accompanied by cream spots and red and blue markings.
  • Size: Typically, the wing span is around 3-4 inches (7-10 cm).
  • Diet: As a caterpillar, citrus leaves are a favorite. As an adult, it feeds on nectar from various flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females lay spherical, cream-colored eggs on citrus plant leaves.
  • Lifespan: Usually, this species can live up to 4 weeks.
  • Host Plants: Citrus plants, such as lime, lemon and orange trees, are the primary host plants.

So, if you reside in sunny Queensland and have citrus plants in your yard, watch out for these stunning butterflies, as they might be fluttering right around the corner!

Regent Skipper (Euschemon rafflesia)

The Regent Skipper is an alluring creature to encounter. Found exclusively in subtropical rainforests along the eastern coast of Australia, this butterfly possesses a certain charm incomparable to others.

Regent Skipper: Euschemon rafflesia

  • Habitat: Subtropical rainforests along East Australia.
  • Appearance: Known for its deep forest-green wings marked with striking bands of gold.
  • Size: With a wingspan of 3 to 4 inches (76 to 102mm), it is one of the largest skippers.
  • Diet: Primarily feed on nectar from native flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females lay single eggs on host plants where larvae feed and grow into mature butterflies.
  • Lifespan: Typically live for a few weeks, though under ideal conditions, can survive up to a few months.
  • Host Plants: The larvae of the Regent Skipper primarily feed on Grevillea species plants.

This butterfly is a sight to behold, exhibiting a splendor that mirrors nature’s finest crafts. With its presence, it inevitably adds a gleaming touch to the green, lush landscape of Queensland.

Black Jezebel (Delias nigrina)

The Black Jezebel, scientifically known as Delias nigrina, is an iconic inhabitant of the tropical rainforests in Queensland.

Black Jezebel (Delias nigrina)

  • Habitat: This species enjoys staying high above in the treetops and seldom comes down.
  • Appearance: The eye-catching black and white sections on their upperparts and their bright red lower parts make them noticeable.
  • Size: Boasting a wingspan of around 3.1 inches (80mm), it’s quite the spectacle.
  • Diet: They feed mostly on nectar from rainforest blossoms.
  • Reproduction: Mating occurs early in the morning, with egg-laying happening later in the day.
  • Lifespan: They generally live up to 6 weeks.
  • Host Plants: These butterflies lay eggs exclusively on mistletoe species.

These captivating, fluttering creatures are a treasure to behold among the green foliage of their natural habitat. The Black Jezebel ensures the symbiosis in this ecosystem by pollinating flowers while it feeds.

Clearwing Swallowtail (Cressida cressida)

Confidently identified by their transparent wings, the Clearwing Swallowtail, scientifically referred to as Cressida cressida, is a unique butterfly native to Queensland.

Clearwing Swallowtail (Cressida cressida) male

  • Habitat: These butterflies are mostly found in forests, particularly where native fig trees grow.
  • Appearance: True to their name, the Clearwing Swallowtail’s wings are transparent, surrounded by black and yellow marginal bands. The body displays a cream and black color scheme.
  • Size: With a wingspan of approximately 3.5 to 4.5 inches (9 to 11.4 cm), Clearwings are a medium-sized species.
  • Diet: Adults feed on nectar of various flowers. The larvae are known to feed on fig leaves.
  • Reproduction: Females lay spherical green eggs which hatch in about a week.
  • Lifespan: A typical lifespan is about 30 to 40 days for adult butterflies.
  • Host Plants: This butterfly species has a specific relationship with figs, and the larval stage is heavily dependent on fig leaves for nutrition.

Knowing the distinctive characteristics of the Clearwing Swallowtail butterfly will assist in identifying them during your butterfly spotting in Queensland.

Glasswing Butterfly (Acraea andromacha)

Radiate with excitement as you encounter the enthralling Glasswing Butterfly. This species is a clear testament to nature’s exquisite artistry.

Glasswing Butterfly

  • Habitat: Predominantly found in the northern regions of Australia, Glasswing butterflies are often sighted in woodland areas where their food plants grow.
  • Appearance: Staying true to their name, the Glasswing butterflies have stunning transparent wings, with a captivating pattern of white, brown and black margins.
  • Size: With wingspans ranging from 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm), they are quite large compared to other butterfly species.
  • Diet: Adults feed on nectar from a variety of flowering plants, and caterpillars enjoy munching on poisonous plants.
  • Reproduction: Similar to many other butterfly species, the life cycle of the Glasswing contains stages of egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult.
  • Lifespan: Their life span, from egg to adult, lasts about one month.
  • Host Plants: Their preferred host plants are toxic, which helps them in self-defense. The caterpillars consume the poisonous leaves of plants from the Crotalaria genus.

Sword-grass Brown (Tisiphone abeona)

The Sword-grass Brown, scientifically known as Tisiphone abeona, is a remarkable butterfly species you can find in Queensland. It’s a sight to behold and has several captivating traits.

500_9289 sword-grass brown

  • Habitat: This species can often be found in wet forest areas and around streams. They are abundant in both open and closed woodlands.
  • Appearance: Its wings display an earthy brown colour, with distinctive white and yellow marking. The vibrant spots and bands make it stand out.
  • Size: An adult Sword-grass Brown measures about 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) in wing length, making it medium-sized.
  • Diet: As caterpillars, they munch on sword-grass. Adults feed on nectar from flowers and sometimes, they savour rotting fruits.
  • Reproduction: They reproduce via eggs deposited on their host plants. The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which then pupate and emerge as butterflies.
  • Lifespan: They have a typical lifespan of 2-4 weeks, depending on factors such as weather and predators.
  • Host Plants: Their favoured host plant is the tough sword-grass, this is why they got their name from.

Red-banded Jezebel (Delias mysis)

The Red-banded Jezebel is another captivating butterfly you can find gracing the skies of Queensland.

Delias mysis

Feel the wonder as we explore their characteristics:

  • Habitat: This species resides in shaded woodland areas, playing hide and seek under the canopy.
  • Appearance: Striking in its beauty, the Red-banded Jezebel boasts a crimson band across its white wings, bordered intriguingly by black margins.
  • Size: Light in weight and moderate in size, these butterflies measure about 2.3 inches (5.8 cm) wingspan.
  • Diet: In a diet consistent with butterflies, this species feast on nectar from various flowers and also tuck into aphid honeydew.
  • Reproduction: Their life cycle consists of the egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult stages. In this butterfly’s case, females lay eggs on mistletoe, their host plants.
  • Lifespan: Their life typically spans a few weeks, experienced mostly on the wing.
  • Host Plants: They prefer mistletoe, using it in the caterpillar phase to fuel their transformation into adult butterflies.

Common Oakblue (Arhopala micale)

The Common Oakblue is one species among the 30 attractive butterfly species present in Queensland, Australia, that you’re bound to notice due to its vibrant hue.

Arhopala micale (Common Oakblue)

  • Habitat: Common Oakblue can be found in various habitats including forests, woodlands, and gardens.
  • Appearance: This species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with males possessing a beautiful metallic blue while females boast a brown color with striking blue spots.
  • Size: A medium-sized butterfly, adults typically span 1.2-1.4 inches (30-35 millimeters).
  • Diet: Adults feed primarily on nectar from a variety of flowering plants.
  • Reproduction: Females lay single eggs on new growth of host plants.
  • Lifespan: The adult lifespan typically lasts 10-20 days, making their lives fleeting yet fascinating.
  • Host Plants: Their caterpillars are usually associated with a variety of plants species including Erythrina, Bauhinia, and Cassia.

Admiring the Common Oakblue, you can’t help but marvel at the vibrant pulse of life in Queensland’s butterfly population.

Bright-eyed Brown (Heteronympha cordace)

Let’s turn our attention to the captivating Bright-eyed Brown, scientifically known as the Heteronympha cordace.

Heteronympha cordace (Bright-eyed Brown)

  • Habitat: This butterfly often prefers forest edges, gardens, and open woodland.
  • Appearance: Adorned with a rich brown hue on the upper side of wings, the under part reveals a captivating pattern of a lighter tone and noticeable eyespots.
  • Size: Sit back and observe as this species flutters around, with a wingspan that ranges between 1.2-1.6 inches or 30-40mm.
  • Diet: These butterflies are nectar feeders primarily, visiting flowers in its locale.
  • Reproduction: Bright-eyed Browns lay their eggs on the undersurface of leaves.
  • Lifespan: Typically, these butterflies have a brief lifespan of about 2 weeks.
  • Host Plants: Keep your eyes open for the Wallaby Grass and Spear Grass, as these are the preferred host plants of the Bright-eyed Brown’s caterpillars.

Be sure to remember, though this butterfly has a brief lifespan, but its beauty and charm are not lesser.

Common Grass-yellow (Eurema hecabe)

The Common Grass-yellow is one of the most ubiquitous butterfly species in Queensland. It favours a variety of habitats, including grasslands and urban areas.

Common Grass-yellow butterfly

Key traits and features are:

  • Habitat: Ranges from coastal zones to mountains and rainforests. It’s highly adaptable.
  • Appearance: Distinguished by its yellow and brownish-black patterned wings.
  • Size: A small-medium species, with a wingspan of around 1.6-2 inches (40–50 mm).
  • Diet: Caterpillars feast on various legume species. Adult butterflies sip nectar from flowers.
  • Reproduction: Females lay eggs on the undersides of host plant leaves.
  • Lifespan: Often lives 2-3 weeks, but can survive months in ideal conditions.
  • Host Plants: Favors the sickle pod (Senna obtusifolia) and other varieties of Cassia.

These butterflies not only beautify the scenery, but also help pollinate plants, thereby contributing to the ecosystem’s overall health.

You’ll quickly recognize them by their vibrant, sunny hue, a hint to their energetic manner.


We’ve just explored 30 exceptional butterfly species that call Queensland home.

From the spectacle of the Cairns Birdwing to the understated grace of the Bright-eyed Brown, each beauty leaves its own unique mark on this vibrant locale.

Will you go butterfly spotting on your next trip to Queensland? Please let us know in the comments below.

Butterflies   Updated: July 3, 2023
avatar Welcome to Insectic, a blog to learn about insects and bugs. I'm Richard, and I've created this website to share my experience, knowledge, and passion with others.

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